Comforting beef barley soup will warm you up on cold winter days! Tender beef, cooked carrots and pearl barley simmer in this beef broth based soup.
Cool days call for thick stews and soups. We often make our easy beef stew, but sometimes life calls for a different soup….like this beef barley soup.
I remember my mom making this soup often when I was growing up. I’m not sure where she got the recipe, but it is a classic and a must-have for winter menus. It’s comforting and delicious paired with a salad and fresh homemade bread.
What kind of barley do you use for soup?
For this recipe we use pearl barley. Don’t get an “instant” barley. Pearl barley is different from traditional barley because it has been hulled. The outer husk and bran layers have been removed to create a smooth “pearl-like” barley.
Do you cook barley before adding to soup?
There’s no need to cook pearl barley before adding it to soup. This soup calls for almost 2 hours of cooking time which will give the barley plenty of time to soften.
What is the best cut of beef for soup?
We like extra-tender beef for our beef soups, so we like to use a chuck roast or chuck shoulder roast for this recipe. Simply cut it up in cubes to it cooks to fork-tender quickly. If you’re short on time, but a package of pre-cut stew meat. Often times this stew meat is cut from chuck roasts.
How do you make beef barley soup?
In a large saucepan over medium heat, brown the meat and onion in the oil.
Add the broth, barley and seasonings.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
Bring to a boil again then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until meat and carrots are tender. Stir several times during cooking.
Add parsley and serve.
It’s really as easy as that! The soup takes some time to cook, but it is mostly “hands off” times so you can get that laundry folded or bills paid while dinner is cooking.
Can you substitute quinoa for barley in soup?
Yes! Quinoa makes a great substitute for barley. Simply the barley for the quinoa. It will most likely take much less time to cook than barley, so you may be able to cut down on cooking time this way.
How long can you keep beef barley soup in the refrigerator?
If you store the soup in an airtight container, it will last about 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Can you freeze homemade beef barley soup?
Yes! This soup freezes well. Store soup in your favorite freezer container or in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Other Beef Soup Recipes
Beef Barley Soup
- 1 ½ pounds stew meat (cut in ½” cubes)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 6 cups beef stock
- 1 cup medium pearl barley (not quick cooking)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary (crushed)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 medium carrots (peeled and sliced)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, brown the meat and onion in the oil.
- Add the broth, barley and seasonings.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
- Add carrots.
- Bring to a boil again then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until meat and carrots are tender. Stir several times during cooking.
- Add parsley and serve.