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Beef Barley Soup

Making a pot of wholesome Beef Barley Soup from scratch doesn't have to be a long complicated process. This recipe is easy and in just about an hour you can have a delicious and hearty meal on the table.

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Bowl of Beef Barley Soup.

Hearty and full of flavour, this Beef Barley Soup with vegetables is easy to make, delicious and healthy. Barley has a slightly nutty flavour and a chewy consistency. It's high in protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals (see here for more on its health benefits).

To make this soup in just about an hour, I used Pearl barley. Though it's not considered a whole grain and is less nutritious than hulled barley, it's still very good for you.

If you prefer to use hulled barley to take full advantage of its health benefits, you can do so but will need to increase the cooking time.

Beef Barley Soup served in two white bowls.

How to Make it

If you're wondering which cut of beef to use to make this soup, I find chuck roast or sirloin tip works wonderfully.

Ingredients Overview:

  •  Olive oil and butter
  • Beef chuck roast or sirloin tip
  • Onion 
  • Celery 
  • Carrot 
  • Garlic
  • Beef or chicken broth 
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pearl barley
  • Fresh Parsley (a few sprigs, optional)

Steps Overview:

To speed up the time it takes to cook this soup and reduce the amount of broth needed, it's a good idea to cook the barley separately. Since barley absorbs a lot of liquid, cooking it partway on its own reduces the amount of stock needed in the soup.

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the beef with salt and pepper and brown it on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot, set it on cutting board and cut the meat into 1/2 inch cubes. 
  3. In a second pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add the barley. Lower the heat and simmer barley for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, to the pot in which you browned the beef, add the onion, celery and carrots. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute. Lower heat to medium and cook, stirring every few minutes, until vegetables soften, about 7 minutes. 
  5. To the soup pot, add the beef cubes, bay leaf and stock. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot to release the caramelized bits. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. Bring the soup to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. 
  6. Add the drained barley to the soup. Let soup simmer for approximately 15 to 20 minutes more or until the beef and barley are tender. Add more broth if desired and adjust seasoning. 
  7. If you have fresh parsley available, chop a few sprigs and sprinkle onto the soup before serving.
Bowl of beef barley soup.

How to Serve

This soup is filling enough to enjoy as a meal. If you like, you can serve it with slices of crusty bread or some homemade biscuits.

Calories

There are approximately 314 calories in one serving of this Beef Barley Soup.

How to Store

Store leftover Beef Barley Soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. Since barley absorbs a lot of liquid you might need to add more broth to the soup.

To avoid having to add more broth to the soup, you could separate the broth from the solids in the soup and store them in the refrigerator separately.

More Easy and Hearty Soups to Try

Bowl of Beef Barley Soup.

Beef Barley Soup

Adapted from Serious Eats
Making a pot of wholesome Beef Barley Soup from scratch doesn't have to be a long complicated process. This recipe is easy and in just about an hour you can have a delicious and hearty meal on the table.
4.75 from 8 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Main, Soup
Cuisine Western
Servings 6
Calories 314 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound beef chuck roast or sirloin tip, you can use less beef if you prefer a less meaty soup
  • 1 onion medium
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 carrot large
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 5 cups beef or chicken broth more broth may be needed as barley absorbs a lot of liquid as its cooking
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup pearl barley rinsed
  • parsley few sprigs

Instructions
 

  • In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Season the beef with salt and pepper and brown it on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot and set it on cutting board. Cut the meat into 1/2 inch cubes.
  • In a second pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add the barley. Lower heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, to the pot in which you browned the beef, add the onion, celery and carrots. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute. Lower heat to medium and cook, stirring every few minutes, until vegetables soften, about 7 minutes.
  • To the soup pot, add the beef cubes, bay leaf and stock. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot to release the caramelized bits. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. Bring the soup to a boil and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Add the drained barley to the soup. Let soup simmer for approximately 15 to  20 minutes more or until beef and barley are tender. Add more broth if desired and adjust seasoning.
  • Before serving, sprinkle soup with chopped fresh parsley. (Optional).

Notes

  1. To shorten the time needed to make this soup, start cooking the barley by boiling it in water in a separate pot while making the rest of the soup. Let the barley simmer for about twenty minutes, drain it and add it to the remainder of the ingredients in the soup pot.
  2. If you choose hulled barley for this recipe, I recommend you cook it on its own for at least 30 minutes prior to adding it to the soup pot. It will continue cooking with the remainder of the ingredients.

Nutrition

Calories: 314kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 18gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 449mgPotassium: 727mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1790IUVitamin C: 2.5mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1.9mg
Keyword Barley Soup, Beef Barley Soup
Tried this recipe? Have any questions, comments or suggestions? Leave a comment below!Mention @sweetandsavourypursuits or tag #sweetandsavourypursuits!
Recipe Rating




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vivian

Tuesday 2nd of January 2018

This was the perfect soup for the meat eaters in our family on a below zero night. Easy to make, hearty and delicious. Thank you!

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

Tuesday 16th of January 2018

That's great, thanks so much for taking the time to let me know!

La Cuisine d'Helene

Thursday 16th of November 2017

Oh my I love soups and this is the perfect comfy food for the winter!

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

Friday 17th of November 2017

Thanks so much Hélène! I agree, soups are great comfort food!

Karly

Tuesday 14th of November 2017

Looking at this has me drooling! Theeeeee perfect winter soup! So excited to try this!

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

Friday 17th of November 2017

Thanks so much Karly, hope you enjoy it!

Louise Crosby

Saturday 11th of November 2017

This is the perfect food for cold weather. Can't wait to make it. Thanks, Fida.

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

Friday 17th of November 2017

Thanks Louise, yes nothing makes you forget about the cold like a delicious hot bowl of soup!

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