Bowl of Beef Barley Soup
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4.84 from 6 votes

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.
Course Main, Soup
Cuisine Western
Keyword Barley Soup, Beef Barley Soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 314kcal
Author Adapted from Serious Eats


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp 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 alot of liquid as its cooking
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley few sprigs
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley rinsed


  • 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 where 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.


  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.


Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 727mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1790IU | Vitamin C: 2.5mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1.9mg