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Beef and Barley Soup

Craving Comfort? Dive into a Bowl of Hearty Beef Barley Soup

Beef and Barley Soup

As the air turns crisp and cool, there's nothing quite as satisfying as a steaming bowl of hearty soup. This Beef Barley Soup recipe is here to deliver! Packed with melt-in-your-mouth beef, tender vegetables, and plump barley, it's a symphony of textures and flavors that will warm you from the inside out.

Why You'll Love This Recipe:

  • Effortless Comfort: This soup comes together with ease, making it a perfect weeknight meal. Simple ingredients and minimal prep work ensure a delicious dinner on the table without the fuss.
  • Homemade Goodness: Ditch the canned soups and experience the pure satisfaction of homemade. This recipe boasts fresh ingredients and rich flavors that surpass anything store-bought.
  • Make-Ahead Marvel: This soup is a meal-prepping dream! It can be made ahead of time and freezes beautifully, allowing you to enjoy a comforting lunch or dinner whenever the craving strikes.
  • A Feast for the Senses: Each spoonful offers a delightful combination of textures and flavors. Tender beef chunks mingle with crisp vegetables and fluffy barley, all bathed in a savory broth that's bursting with richness.


  • Hearty Beef Base:
    • 1 pound boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (lean ground beef can be substituted)
  • Vegetable Medley:
    • 1 ½ cups carrots, thinly sliced
    • 1 ½ cups celery, thinly sliced
    • ⅔ cup onion, chopped
    • 1 package pre-sliced mushrooms (8 ounces)
  • Brothy Goodness:
    • 2 tablespoons beef base (or substitute 2 tablespoons beef bouillon paste + 2 cups water)
    • 8-10 cups water
  • Flavor Boosters:
    • 1 large bay leaf
  • Barley Bliss:
    • 1 cup pearl barley
  • Seasoning (to taste):
    • Salt
    • Pepper


  1. Brown the Beef (Optional): For an extra layer of flavor, heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring frequently, until browned on all sides.
  2. Crockpot Magic: Transfer the browned beef (or uncooked beef if skipping the browning step) to a slow cooker. Add the carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, beef base, water, and bay leaf.
  3. High Heat for a Head Start: Cook on high for one hour. This allows the initial flavors to develop.
  4. Barley Boost: Add the pearl barley and stir well. Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 3-4 hours, or until the vegetables and beef are tender and the barley is cooked through.
  5. Season to Perfection: Once the soup is finished cooking, remove the bay leaf and discard. Season the soup with salt and pepper to your taste.
  6. Serve and Savor: Ladle the hot Beef Barley Soup into bowls and enjoy!

Cooking Tips:

  • Embrace Tough Cuts: This recipe is a perfect example of how to utilize tougher cuts of meat like chuck roast or shoulder. They braise beautifully in the slow cooker, becoming meltingly tender and flavorful.
  • Browning for Bonus Flavor: While browning the beef is an optional step, it adds a rich depth of flavor to the soup. However, the soup will still be delicious if you skip this step.
  • Leftovers for the Win: This soup tastes even better the next day! Feel free to make a large batch and enjoy it throughout the week.