best beef barley soup recipe

by Marge O'Keefe IV Published 1 year ago Updated 9 months ago

How do you make homemade beef and barley soup?


  • In a large dutch oven or soup pot, brown meat in oil over medium-high heat, just until browned on each side, about 2 minutes per side. ...
  • Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook and stir 3-4 minutes, just until onion is translucent.
  • Add garlic, salt, thyme and pepper and cook and stir 1 minute.
  • Stir in broth, barley, tomato paste and bay leaves. ...

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Should barley be cooked before adding to soup?

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How to make Beef Barley soup from scratch?


  • Trim two leeks, cut in half lengthwise and slice into "half moons". ...
  • Meanwhile place the 2lbs of boneless beef short ribs in the bottom of a large pot.
  • Top with the clean leeks, chopped onion, carrot and turnips.
  • Grind some fresh pepper and add in the 8 cups of beef stock.

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What are the ingredients in barley soup?

What ingredients you need

  • Pearled barley
  • Frozen peas
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Potato
  • Tomato paste
  • Broth
  • Olive oil

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Should I cook barley before adding it to soup?

If you want to add pearl barley to a soup or stew but don't want the barley to thicken it then cook it separately first. Boil in water for 20-30 minutes and rise before using.

What is the best kind of barley for soup?

pearl barleyYou would be surprised by how much added salt are in broths! Barley – I used pearl barley for this soup, but hulled barley works too! There are many types of barley, but pearl is the most commonly used!

Can you overcook barley?

Can you overcook barley? Yes, if you put soaked barley into the slow cooker it will overcook and disintegrate in the soup.

Is barley soup good for you?

Barley is high in fiber, especially beta-glucan, which may reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It may also aid weight loss and improve digestion. Whole-grain, hulled barley is more nutritious than refined, pearled barley.

What is the difference between barley and pearl barley?

Hulled barley, considered a whole grain, has had just the indigestible outer husk removed. It's darker in color and has a little bit of a sheen. Pearled barley, also called pearl barley, is not a whole grain and isn't as nutritious. It has lost its outer husk and its bran layer, and it has been polished.

Do you have to soak barley for soup?

Do you have to soak barley before cooking? Pearl barley does not need to be soaked prior to cooking because it cooks quickly. Hulled barley benefits from soaking in water for a few hours before cooking. However, you should still budget more time for the hulled grain to cook (about 35 to 40 minutes).

Do you need to rinse barley before cooking?

Tips for using barley There is no need to rinse barley before using it. To enhance the flavour of barley, heat the kernels in a skillet for a few minutes or cook it in broth instead of water. Save time. Cook extra barley & freeze it.

Does barley have to be soaked overnight?

Soaking pearled barley in water for a few hours or overnight will shorten the cooking time but isn't required. Whole-grain barley, however, does require an overnight soak and may need longer cooking.

Can you freeze beef barley soup with potatoes?

One of the great things about this soup is how well it freezes! Barley freezes better than pasta or potatoes (though both can be done!) and you don't lose any quality by making it ahead. I like to pour my soup into a large freezer bag, then seal and freeze flat so that it can be quickly thawed when you need it.

Is barley inflammatory?

3. Barley and Rye. These healthy (and delicious) grains don't cause the same sugar spike that refined carbs do, but they can spark inflammation in some people.

What is the side effect of barley?

It might cause gas, bloating, or feelings of fullness in some people. This usually lessens with continued use. Barley can also cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Is barley good for high blood pressure?

Barley is used for lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and for promoting weight loss. It is also used for digestive complaints including diarrhea, stomach pain, and inflammatory bowel conditions.

Beef Options in The Best Beef and Barley Soup

The best meat to use for this soup is stewing meat. Your grocery store should carry it, already cubed up for you. If you can’t find that, you can just buy a chuck roast. If you prefer, you could also use ground beef.


Technically, browning the chuck roast is an optional step. If you absolutely do not have the time, you can skip it. However, we highly highly recommend you brown the roast. It adds so much flavor to this soup, that you will really be missing out if you skip this step.

Red Wine

We love the added flavor red wine brings to this soup, and with how long it simmers on the stove, all of the alcohol cooks out before you consume it. However, if you prefer to not cook with alcohol, you can always substitute with more broth.

Tomato Paste Tip

When a recipe like this one calls for only a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste, we always hate to waste the rest of the can. Instead, we purchase the tubes of tomato paste found right next to the cans, so we can use just the small amount needed without wasting.


Barley is such an under-utilized grain. There are several different types of barley, but we prefer pearl barley in this soup.

Make Ahead Instructions

This soup is great for a make ahead meal. You can make this up to 48 hours in advance, but be sure to not add the barley in to your soup if you are not serving the same day. If you are going to make your soup ahead of time, cook your barley according to its package instructions and then add into the soup once you are ready to serve.

Freezer Instructions

Let your soup cool completely and pour into gallon size ziplock bags. Seal and lay flat in your freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

This beef barley soup tastes intensely beefy, with tender chunks of beef, plump pearls of barley, and tender, perfectly cooked vegetables

Daniel joined the Serious Eats culinary team in 2014 and writes recipes, equipment reviews, articles on cooking techniques. Prior to that he was a food editor at Food & Wine magazine, and the staff writer for Time Out New York's restaurant and bars section.

Why It Works

Using collagen-rich chuck roast or short ribs guarantees flavorful beef that stays tender even after long cooking.

Ground Beef and Barley Soup

I came across this recipe years ago at a recipe exchange through a church group. The contributor didn't sign her name, so I don't know who to thank. But my husband and son thank me for preparing it by helping themselves to seconds and thirds! - Ellen McCleary, Scotland, Ontario

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A guide to making the best beef and barley soup, from scratch

Daniel joined the Serious Eats culinary team in 2014 and writes recipes, equipment reviews, articles on cooking techniques. Prior to that he was a food editor at Food & Wine magazine, and the staff writer for Time Out New York's restaurant and bars section.

Choose the Right Beef

Beef cooked into a soup faces the same challenge as beef cooked into a stew: We want to cook it long enough that its flavor can infuse the surrounding liquid, making a soup that tastes truly beefy, but we don't want the beef drying out or becoming tough in the process. That means going for collagen-rich cuts.

Brown It Better

Most beef stew and soup recipes have you start by browning the meat (and if they don't, run away!). Browning builds excellent flavor, but it comes at a price: The browned bits of meat dry out in the process.

Use Chicken Stock (Usually)

With the beef and vegetables browned, the next step is to add stock to the pot to begin the soup part of the dish. In most cases, that stock should be chicken stock.

Enhance the Broth

With the stock in the pot, it's time to make sure it tastes good. First, we want to add the cut-up beef (and any beef bones and accumulated juices) back to the pot. It will foam initially, so you'll need to skim the broth once or twice to get rid of that gunk.

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