Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Soup Recipe:

Savor the Simplicity of Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Soup

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There’s something inherently comforting about a warm bowl of soup, especially when it’s packed with tender beef, wholesome barley, and hearty vegetables. This Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Soup recipe is a testament to the beauty of simplicity, allowing you to effortlessly create a nourishing and delicious meal that’s perfect for any occasion. So, dust off your slow cooker, gather your ingredients, and let the magic of slow cooking transform humble ingredients into a culinary masterpiece.


  • 1.5 lbs beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup pearl barley
  • 1 pound peeled and diced potatoes
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the Ingredients: Start by trimming the excess fat from the beef chuck roast and cutting it into 1-inch pieces. Peel and dice the potatoes, slice the carrots, dice the onion, and chop the celery.
  2. Combine Ingredients in Slow Cooker: In the slow cooker, combine the beef chuck roast, pearl barley, diced potatoes, sliced carrots, diced onion, chopped celery, tomato paste, minced garlic, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, fresh thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Mix Well: Stir all the ingredients in the slow cooker until well combined, ensuring that the beef and vegetables are evenly distributed.
  4. Cook Slow and Low: Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours, until the beef is tender and the barley is cooked through.
  5. Adjust Seasoning and Serve: Once cooked, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs before serving. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Beef Chuck Roast Substitute: If beef chuck roast is not available, you can use beef stew meat or beef sirloin cut into cubes as a substitute.
  • Barley Alternative: For a gluten-free option, you can substitute the pearl barley with quinoa or brown rice. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Add Extra Vegetables: Feel free to add extra vegetables such as diced tomatoes, green beans, or spinach to boost the nutritional content of the soup.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto Option: Substitute the pearl barley with cauliflower florets or diced turnips to keep the soup keto-friendly. Ensure that the beef broth used is free from added sugars or thickeners.
  • Low-Carb Twist: Reduce the amount of potatoes or omit them entirely to lower the carb content of the soup. Opt for low-carb vegetables like zucchini or cauliflower instead.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use a different type of meat for this soup? A: Yes, you can use other cuts of beef such as beef stew meat or beef sirloin for this soup. Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the cut of meat used.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers of this soup? A: Absolutely! Allow the soup 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.

Q: Can I cook this soup on the stovetop instead of using a slow cooker? A: Yes, you can certainly simmer the soup on the stovetop in a large pot over low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender and the flavors have melded together.

Q: Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh thyme? A: Yes, you can substitute dried thyme for fresh thyme in this recipe. Use about half the amount of dried thyme as the recipe calls for fresh.

Let the inviting aroma of Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Soup fill your home as it simmers away, promising a comforting and nourishing meal that’s both satisfying and wholesome. With its tender beef, chewy barley, and vibrant vegetables, this soup is a celebration of simplicity and flavor. So, embrace the ease of slow cooking, indulge in the heartiness of homemade soup, and savor the joy of sharing a delicious meal with loved ones. Here’s to the magic of soup season!

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