Beef Barley Soup

Savor the Flavor: Hearty Beef Barley Soup

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Embrace the warmth and comfort of a steaming bowl of Beef Barley Soup, a classic dish that’s perfect for chilly days or cozy evenings at home. Bursting with tender chunks of beef, wholesome barley, and hearty vegetables, this soul-warming soup is sure to satisfy even the heartiest of appetites. Join us as we journey through the steps of crafting this delicious and nourishing meal, perfect for sharing with loved ones or savoring on your own.

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  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2–3 lbs chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2/3 cup medium barley
  • 1 can corn, drained (14.5 ounces)


  1. Sear the Beef: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the bite-sized pieces of chuck roast and sear until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.
  2. Sauté Vegetables: In the same pot, add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add Seasonings and Broth: Stir in the dried parsley, dried oregano, ground thyme, beef broth, diced tomatoes (with their juices), and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  4. Simmer: Once simmering, return the seared beef to the pot. Cover and simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beef is tender.
  5. Add Barley and Corn: Stir in the barley and drained corn. Continue to simmer, uncovered, for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until the barley is cooked through and tender.
  6. Adjust Seasoning and Serve: Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed. Discard the bay leaf before serving. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

Cook’s Notes and Variations

  • Make it in a Slow Cooker: Brown the beef and sauté the vegetables as instructed, then transfer everything to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • Vegetarian Option: Omit the beef and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth. Add extra vegetables such as mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini for added flavor and texture.
  • Add Fresh Herbs: Enhance the flavor of the soup by adding a handful of fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or parsley during the last few minutes of cooking.
  • Make it Spicy: For a kick of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the soup.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I use pearl barley instead of medium barley?
    • Yes, pearl barley can be substituted for medium barley in this recipe. Keep in mind that pearl barley cooks faster, so adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  2. Can I freeze Beef Barley Soup?
    • Yes, this soup freezes well. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  3. How can I make this soup thicker?
    • If you prefer a thicker soup, you can add a slurry of cornstarch and water during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water until smooth, then stir it into the simmering soup until thickened.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

Low-Carb Option: Substitute the barley with cauliflower rice or chopped cauliflower florets. Increase the amount of vegetables and beef to make the soup more filling without adding extra carbs.

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Keto-Friendly Variation: Omit the barley and corn entirely. Instead, add extra low-carb vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, or bell peppers. Use bone broth or homemade beef broth for added nutrients and flavor.

In conclusion, our Beef Barley Soup is a comforting and satisfying meal that’s perfect for any occasion. With its rich flavors, hearty ingredients, and simple preparation, it’s sure to become a staple in your recipe collection. Whether you’re craving a cozy weeknight dinner or looking to warm up on a cold winter day, this soup is guaranteed to hit the spot. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to enjoy a bowl of homemade goodness!

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