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Beef and Barley Soup

Rich and Hearty, this Beef Barley Soup is made with tender chunks of beef, nutritious barley, tasty veggies and layers of flavor. So comforting on those chilly autumn and winter days, this Beef Barley Soup recipe is super easy to make.

Beef and Barley soup feature image.

Each spoonful is full of amazing beef flavor, along with a great blend of textures from the veggies and aromatics. You will never want to eat canned soup or bring in soup from a store again!

You can also try some of our other family favorite soups: Butternut Squash Soup and Rich and Creamy Tomato Soup.

Why This Recipe Works?

  • Rich and hearty.
  • Loaded with tender beef, nutritious barley and tasty veggies.
  • One pot meal.
  • Super easy to make.
  • Perfect for those chilly autumn and winter days.
  • Kid Friendly.
  • Make ahead and freezer friendly meal.
  • The Best Beef and Barley Soup ever!!!
beef barley soup second feature image.

Main Ingredients

This recipe uses super easy ingredients that can be purchased from a local grocery store if they are not already in your kitchen. Read the Recipe Card for the measurements.

  • Cubed Beef – We use chuck roast. In addition to being one of the most inexpensive cuts of beef, the slow cooking process involved in making the soup allows the roast to become so tender it melts in your mouth.
  • Pearl Barley – This is the most common form of barley. It has a nutty flavor and a soft, chewy texture that makes it great in soups and stews.
  • Chicken/Beef Broth – Both beef and chicken broths are used in this recipe to add a little more depth of flavor. Using low sodium broths allows you to control the amount of salt.
  • Carrots / Celery / Garlic / Onion / Thyme / Bay Leaf – These aromatics add a nice mild and sweet flavor to the mix. Tasty veggies help increase the flavor of the soup in addition to being nutritious.
  • Star Anise – Most recipes do not include star anise, but we love the added depth of flavor this spice provides when combined with the beef and our other aromatic spices. Just be sure to remove the star anise pod from the pot before serving.
  • Worcestershire Sauce/Tomato Paste – These help to create an umami flavor when combined with the beef, aromatics, and star anise.
beef barley soup ingredients.

How To Make The Best Beef and Barley Soup

Step 1: Prep It

  • Pat the beef dry to remove any moisture and bring to room temperature 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  • Prep the veggies; chop the onion, mince the garlic, peel and dice the carrots and celery.
  • Gather the rest of your ingredients.
prep the veggies for the soup.

Step 2: Brown It

  • Heat a heavy bottom pot (6 quart) or Dutch oven over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the pot is smoking hot, add the beef in a single layer and brown on all sides. Do not overcrowd the pot or the beef will boil instead of brown.
  • You will need to work in 2 or 3 batches. Each side may take 2-3 minutes to brown, resist the urge to flip them before they are brown. Prior to adding each batch of meat to the pot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Once a batch has been browned, remove the meat from pot and set aside on a tray or plate.
brown the beef.

Step 3: Saute It

  • When all of the meat has been browned and removed from the pot, reduce the heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot.
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery, thyme and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste; cook for an additional minute.
sauté the beef and the aromatics.
  • Add bay leaves, star anise, stocks, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt and pepper to the pot. Also return the browned beef and any of the juices to the pot.
  • With the lid covering the pot, bring the soup to a simmer and reduce heat to low.
add the broths and seasonings to the pot.

Step 4 : Simmer and Serve

  • Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for an hour.
  • Give the barley a good rinse and add to the pot. Continue simmering for an additional 45 minutes, until barley is done and the meat is fairly tender. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Note: As the soup cools it will thicken. You can thin it out by adding a little broth.

rinse and add the barley to the soup.
  • Remove and discard the star anise, bay leaves and thyme sprigs before serving.
ready to be served.

Stir in parsley and serve immediately with your favorite crusty bread and a fabulous kale salad.

Beef and Barley Soup

Beef and Barley Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Rich and Hearty, this Beef Barley Soup is made with tender chunks of beef, nutritious barley, tasty veggies and layers of flavor. So comforting on those chilly autumn and winter days, this Beef Barley Soup recipe is super easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef cubes (chuck)
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large or 2 medium)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped (3-4 carrots)
  • 1 cup celery, diced (2 stalks)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 5 cups beef stock, (low sodium)
  • 5 cups chicken stock, (low sodium)
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Pat the beef dry to remove any moisture and bring to room temperature 30 minutes prior to cooking. Prep the veggies; chop the onion, mince the garlic, peel and dice the carrots and celery. Gather the rest of your ingredients.
  2. Heat a heavy bottom pot (6 quart) or Dutch oven over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the pot is smoking hot, add the beef in a single layer and brown on all sides. Do not overcrowd the pot or the beef will boil instead of brown.
  3. You will need to work in 2 or 3 batches. Each side may take 2-3 minutes to brown, resist the urge to flip them before they are brown. Prior to adding each batch of meat to the pot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once a batch has been browned, remove the meat from pot and set aside on a tray or plate.
  4. When all of the meat has been browned and removed from the pot, reduce the heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. Add the onions, carrots, celery, thyme and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste; cook for an additional minute.
  5. Add bay leaves, star anise, stocks, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt and pepper to the pot. Also return the browned beef and any of the juices to the pot. With the lid covering the pot, bring the soup to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for an hour.
  6. Give the barley a good rinse and add to the pot. Continue simmering for an additional 45 minutes, until barley is done and the meat is fairly tender. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  7. Remove and discard the star anise pod, bay leaves and thyme sprigs before serving.
  8. Stir in parsley and serve immediately with your favorite crusty bread.

Notes

As the soup cools it will thicken. You can thin it out by adding a little broth.

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