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Beef and barley soup recipe

Beef and barley soup recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Beef soup

A delicious and hearty soup, that will warm the cockles of your heart. Perfect for the cold winter months.

22 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 200g pearl barley
  • 600ml water
  • 225g broken dried mushrooms
  • 125ml water
  • 1 (1.35kg) boneless beef rump joint
  • 5 litres water
  • 30g chopped fresh parsley
  • 15g chopped fresh dill
  • 400ml beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:6hr ›Extra time:8hr soaking › Ready in:14hr15min

  1. Combine barley and 600ml water in a bowl; cover and let soak overnight. Combine dried mushrooms and 125ml water in a bowl; cover and let soak overnight.
  2. Place the beef joint in a large stockpot over medium heat; cover the beef with 5 litres water. Bring the water to the boil, skimming any foam off the surface. Boil the beef until the foam no longer forms on the water, about 15 minutes.
  3. Pour the barley, mushrooms and the water from both bowls into the stockpot; stir in the parsley, dill, stock, salt and pepper. Return the mixture to the boil; reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring every hour, until soup has reduced to desired thickness, 4 to 6 hours.
  4. Remove large pieces of beef from the soup; trim and discard fat. Cut remaining meat into bite-sized pieces and return them to the soup.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(24)

Reviews in English (21)

tried this recipie today and Im sorry to say it was so thick and flavourless,I tried to thin it out add an extra stock cube nothing worked overpowering smell of pearl barley.-21 Dec 2011

by ss_redmarc

my family said it was the best soup I ever made. I cooked the meat a lot longer by it's self so it was really tender and I used fresh mushrooms.They can't wait til I make it again-05 Feb 2008

by zary125

I made some changes-I cooked stew meat in the crock pot with a package of brown gravy mix and 2 cups of water. Once that was about done, I cooked quick barley (1cup) according to the package directions. I put the barley, parsley, salt, etc all in the crock pot with the meat to finish for about an hour.-04 Jan 2009


Beef Barley Soup

If you're looking for a hearty winter soup, look no farther! Beef Barley Soup fits the bill every time. It's rich, filling and satisfying. You can choose to cook the barley right in the soup, or separately for a clearer broth. You can also choose to make this soup in the pressure cooker or on the stovetop.

Perfect Winter Soup

When winter kicks around, there are few foods that will warm you up faster than a steaming bowl of soup or stew. This beef barley soup is the perfect answer to cold weather when the only way to really warm up is from the inside out. It’s full of goodness, is rich and hearty and keeps you satisfied until the next mealtime rolls around.

The Right Cut of Beef for Soup

The best beef barley soup has tender chunks of beef that just fall apart when you bite into them. They need to be tender enough t0 cut in half with a spoon because that’s what you’ll be using to eat a bowl of this soup. Makes sense, right? Well, the first step in getting those tender chunks is to use the right cut of beef. That right cut is chuck, or the shoulder of beef. It is a cut of beef that is full of flavor and has enough connective tissue to break down into tender morsels. You could buy chuck already cut up into stew meat or you could just buy some chuck and cut it up yourself – it’s not hard to do and that way you can determine the size of the pieces, which need to be spoon-sized.

Steps to Making Tender Beef Barley Soup

Once you have the right cut of beef, there are just a couple of other steps to ensuring the meat is full of flavor and tender. First of all, brown the cubes of beef in batches – don’t be tempted to throw it all in at once. Overcrowding the pan will just cause too much liquid to accumulate in the pot and you won’t brown a thing. Honest. You’ll need to do at least three batches of browning to get the right color on the beef cubes and that color gives your beef flavor AND creates a lot of flavor on the bottom of the pot, which then blends into your soup liquid when you deglaze. The other step that ensures you’ll have tender beef is to simmer the stew gently. Very gently! You should just see a little movement in the pot, not boiling bubbles. Let the soup simmer for an hour and your beautiful cubes of beef will turn into tender spoonable pieces.

How to Cook Barley for Soup

Here’s the great news – you don’t have to cook the barley separately for this soup! The liquid quantity in this recipe is enough to cook the barley right in the soup after you simmer the beef. The added bonus in cooking it this way is that it absorbs the flavor of the soup as it absorbs the liquid. This recipe calls for pearl barley (barley that has had the husk and bran removed). You could use hulled barley (barley with just the husk removed) instead if you prefer. Hulled barley is considered a whole grain and has more nutrients left in it, but does take a little longer to cook. If you use hulled barley, you will need to cook it for 10 to 15 minutes longer (or add 5 minutes to the pressure cooker time).

What to serve with Beef Barley Soup

You could enjoy a bowl of this soup for lunch or dinner and either way it doesn’t need much to accompany it. A beautiful soft dinner roll or a buttermilk biscuit would be nice, along with a green salad – a simple arugula salad or a heartier radicchio salad with crisp apples. While some soups are good as a starter course, this beef barley soup is definitely the main meal.

A Word about Leftovers

You can definitely package up the leftovers of this soup (if there are any) and keep it in the refrigerator or freeze it for a rainy day. Either way, however, when you do re-heat the soup you will need to thin it with some water. The barley will continue to absorb liquid as it sits, so by the next day it will be more of a stew than a soup. That’s not a bad thing if you’re in the mood for stew, but just know that thinning it with water will not dilute the flavor – there’s plenty of that to go around.


Editor's Note

To make this recipe on the stovetop, cut the beef into bite-sized pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef cubes and cook until browned on all sides, stirring frequently. Remove the meat and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil, and stir in the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook until the onion is translucent and the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the water, bouillon, bay leaf, tomatoes, barley, sugar, and pepper bring to a simmer. Stir in the beef cubes and simmer, covered, until the beef is tender and the barley is fully cooked, about 2 hours. Add the frozen vegetables in the last half hour of the cooking time.


  • 1 ½ pounds boneless beef sirloin steak
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 small onions, cut into wedges
  • ½ cup regular barley (not quick-cooking)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Trim fat from meat. Cut the meat into 3/4-inch pieces. In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker (see Tip), combine the meat, broth, undrained tomatoes, carrots, onions, barley, the water, bay leaf, thyme, and garlic.

Cover and cook on Low for 9 to 11 hours or on High for 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Tip: For easy cleanup, line your slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner. Add ingredients as directed in recipe. Once your dish is finished cooking, spoon the food out of your slow cooker and simply dispose of the liner. Do not lift or transport the disposable liner with food inside.


Beef with Barley Soup

Take the chill off with a warm bowl of this filling soup.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 pound Beef Cubes (for Stew)
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Medium Diced
  • 2 cloves Minced Garlic
  • 2 whole Carrots, Smaller Ends Cut Into Rounds, Larger Ends Diced
  • 2 whole Potatoes, Large Dice
  • 1-½ teaspoon Seasoning Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt (or To Taste)
  • Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  • 6 cups Beef Stock
  • 2 cups Water Or As Needed
  • ½ cups Pearl Barley
  • ½ teaspoons Thyme
  • 1 whole Bay Leaf
  • 1 can (14.5 Oz. Size) Diced Tomatoes

Preparation

Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil.

Brown the beef cubes for three minutes in the oil, then add the onions and garlic. Lower the heat to medium low and cook until the onions are cooked and just start to caramelize. Stir as needed to keep onions and garlic from burning. Lower heat if necessary drizzle a little more olive oil if needed to keep food from sticking.

Add everything except the tomatoes to the pot and stir well. Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil, then turn heat to low, cover pot, and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust heat as necessary to keep soup at a slow simmer. If the soup thickens too much, add a little more water or broth.

Taste to correct seasonings, then add tomatoes and simmer for another hour. Remove bay leaf before serving.


Ingredients for Beef Barley Soup

  • Oil – You can use any of your favorite types. Oil is used to saute your veggies and brown your beef.
  • Beef – Oxtail, chuck roast, stew meat or even leftover steak will work perfectly. This is a great recipe to use more affordable cuts of beef, as tough cuts will tenderize greatly during cooking. Also, don’t be afraid to use fattier parts — they will release collagen that will make your soup taste amazing!

Hot Tip: If you prefer, you can always substitute beef for other meats like pork, lamb or chicken. Again, feel free to use cheaper cuts here.

  • Vegetables – We love to use carrots, onions, garlic and mushrooms. You could also add celery, bell peppers or any veggies you have hanging out in the fridge.
  • Barley – Pearl barley is the best for the soup. Bob’s Red Mill has a great one that can be found in most stores or on Amazon.
  • Broth – You can use beef, vegetable or chicken broth for this soup. Feel free to use your own homemade broth or any packaged variety. My all-time favorite is Better than Bouillon, a broth concentrate that tastes as good as homemade.
  • Seasoning – All you need is the simple stuff. Bay leaves, salt and pepper will do the trick.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 1 cup diced cooked beef
  • 1 (12 ounce) package barley
  • ground black pepper to taste

In a large stock pot bring beef stock to a gentle boil. Add beef and barley, reduce to simmer, cover and cook at least 1 hour.

Check the barley, as to how soft it is. You made need to add more beef stock if to much evaporates.

Add ground pepper to taste. Cook until soup reaches desired thickness.


Add the butter to a large soup pot and melt over medium heat. Generously season the oxtails on all sides with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, add the oxtails to the pot and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the oxtails and set aside on a plate.

Add the carrots, celery, onion, leek and garlic to the pan and cook until soft. Once the vegetables are soft, add the oxtail back in, along with any juices that are on the plate. Pour in the broth and add the bay leaves, thyme and rosemary.

Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let cook for 1-2 hours.

After cooking, remove the lid, and skim off any fat that has risen to the top of the soup. Remove and discard the bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Remove the oxtails and take the meat off the bones. Shred the oxtail meat and discard extra fat and bones.

Add the oxtail meat and barley into the pot. Cook at a simmer for about 30 minutes until the barley is tender. Season to your taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve with bread for dipping and enjoy!


Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound stew beef, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch coins
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced
  • 6 cups Rich Beef Stock or low-sodium canned beef broth
  • 1/4 cup barley, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme
  • Parsley, for garnish

In a 6-quart soup pot, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown evenly, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a paper towel-lined plate.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining oil and the onion and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes, scraping the pot to loosen any brown bits.

Add the carrots and garlic and sweat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of stock and scrape the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining stock, the meat, barley, and thyme and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, skimming the pot occasionally, until the barley is cooked and the meat is tender, about 50 minutes.


Beef Barley Soup

An easy, hearty soup to warm the soul on a cold, windy day.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Lean Beef Stew Meat, Cut Into 1" Cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 5 cups Water
  • 4 whole Celery Ribs, Chopped
  • 6 whole Medium Carrots, Chopped
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 14-½ ounces, weight Diced Tomatoes, Undrained
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 4 teaspoons Beef Bouillon Granules (I Use Low Sodium Beef Bouillon)
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Parsley
  • ½ teaspoons Salt (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Quick-cooking Barley

Preparation

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, brown meat in the oil. Stir so that it gets browned on all sides. When meat is browned, drain off the grease. Add water, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon, oregano, thyme, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 50 minutes.

Stir in barley. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes longer or until barley is tender.

Recipe makes 8 servings (about 2 quarts).

(Recipe adapted from Taste of Home).

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One Comment

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Want2cook on 1.5.2011

yummy! I only made a couple of changes —– I used actual Beef Stock instead of water and bouillon granules. Plus I added in some dry red wine. divine! The meat was so tender and delicious! I pulled the meat out after it was brown on all sides while I sauteed the onions until soft and then added garlic for a minute or two then added carrot and celery and sauteed a minute or two, then I added in all the rest like the recipe said. Also – I had the old-fashioned pearl barley which is NOT quick-cooking, so I added it and cooked an additional hour. Actually then simmered another hour waiting for my high school son to come home and it was even better then! barley was softer. GREAT recipe! thanks!

3 Reviews

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Missnanolej on 9.10.2014

Tasty and hearty–almost a stew consistency. I had to add a little water at the end but that was probably because I used reg. barley, not quick cooking, which I added with the vegetables. I made a few other substitutions based on what I had on hand–used boxed stock, added some frozen peas near the end of the cooking time. This was a good late afternoon choice for dinner since I didn’t have time for a crock pot recipe.

Msblue on 5.25.2011

Good and hearty soup, but I think next time I will make my own beef broth which has a stronger flavor than bouillon or ready made stock.

Want2cook on 1.5.2011

yummy! I only made a couple of changes —– I used actual Beef Stock instead of water and bouillon granules. Plus I added in some dry red wine. divine! The meat was so tender and delicious! I pulled the meat out after it was brown on all sides while I sauteed the onions until soft and then added garlic for a minute or two then added carrot and celery and sauteed a minute or two, then I added in all the rest like the recipe said. Also – I had the old-fashioned pearl barley which is NOT quick-cooking, so I added it and cooked an additional hour. Actually then simmered another hour waiting for my high school son to come home and it was even better then! barley was softer. GREAT recipe! thanks!



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