There's something incredibly comforting about a steaming bowl of beef barley soup, especially on a cold day. Not only is it hearty and delicious, but it’s also packed with nutrients that make it a great choice for healthy eaters. Whether you're a seasoned home cook or just starting your culinary journey, this recipe will guide you through making a perfect pot of beef barley soup.

beef barley soup recipe


Here's what you'll need to get started:

  • 1 lb beef stew meat (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 3 medium carrots (sliced)
  • 3 celery stalks (sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Fresh parsley (for garnish)

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Initial Prep Work

  • Prepare the Ingredients: Start by cutting the beef into bite-sized pieces, dicing the onion, slicing the carrots and celery, and mincing the garlic.

2. Sear the Beef

  • Heat the Olive Oil: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Sear the Beef: Add the beef pieces, seasoning them with salt and pepper. Sear until they are browned on all sides. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Remove the beef from the pot and set it aside.

3. Cook the Vegetables

  • SautĆ© the Vegetables: In the same pot, add the diced onion, sliced carrots, and celery. Cook until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add Garlic: Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.

4. Combine Ingredients

  • Add Liquids and Seasonings: Return the seared beef to the pot. Pour in the beef broth and water. Add the bay leaves, dried thyme, and another pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a Boil: Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil.

5. Simmer the Soup

  • Add the Barley: Once boiling, add the pearl barley to the pot.
  • Reduce Heat and Simmer: Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Allow the soup to cook for about 45-50 minutes, or until the barley is tender and the beef is cooked through.

Tips for a More Flavorful Soup

  • Use Homemade Broth: If you have time, homemade beef broth can make a huge difference in flavor.
  • Add Vegetables: Feel free to add other vegetables like mushrooms, potatoes, or peas to your soup.
  • Season Gradually: Taste the soup as it cooks and adjust the seasoning as needed. Adding a splash of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce can also enhance the flavor.

Serving and Storage Recommendations

  • Serving: Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with freshly chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread for a complete meal.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This soup also freezes well; just be sure to cool it completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers.


There you have it—a simple yet satisfying beef barley soup recipe that’s perfect for any occasion. We hope you enjoy making and savoring this dish as much as we do. Don’t forget to share your experience with us in the comments below, and feel free to experiment with your own variations!

Happy cooking! šŸ²

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