Hearty and Delicious Beef Barley Soup Recipe

Welcome to my kitchen, where I’m excited to share with you my best-ever beef barley soup recipe. This hearty and delicious soup is perfect for chilly days and cozy nights in. It’s a classic dish that has stood the test of time, and for good reason.

My recipe is packed with tender chunks of beef, nutritious veggies, and wholesome barley, all simmered together in a rich and flavorful broth. The key to making the best-ever beef barley soup is using quality ingredients and taking the time to let the flavors meld together.

I’ve been making this recipe for years, and it never fails to impress. It’s the perfect dish to feed a crowd, or to make ahead and enjoy throughout the week. So, roll up your sleeves and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Best-ever Beef Barley Soup
Best-ever Beef Barley Soup

Are you in the mood for a hearty and comforting soup that will warm you up on a chilly day? Look no further than this Best-ever Beef Barley Soup Recipe. This soup is perfect for a cozy night in or a family gathering.

What makes this recipe so special? For starters, it’s packed with nutritious and delicious ingredients. The combination of lean ground beef, pearl barley, and vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions make for a satisfying and balanced meal. Plus, the addition of tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and beef bouillon cubes creates a rich and flavorful broth that you won’t be able to get enough of.

But the real star of this soup is the beef. Whether you use chuck roast or stewing beef, the slow cooking process ensures that the meat becomes incredibly tender and flavorful. The barley also absorbs the flavors of the broth, creating a perfectly seasoned and filling soup.

Not only is this soup delicious, but it’s also versatile. You can easily customize it to your liking by adding in your favorite veggies or swapping out the beef for ground beef or mushrooms. Plus, it’s a great recipe for meal prep since it can be made ahead of time and reheated throughout the week.

Overall, this Best-ever Beef Barley Soup Recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves a hearty and healthy soup that’s full of flavor. So grab a bowl and enjoy the comfort of this delicious soup!

Ingredient List

Ingredients for Best-ever Beef Barley Soup Recipe

Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make this hearty and flavorful Beef Barley Soup Recipe:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 medium stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 green peppers, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup catsup
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

These ingredients will make a hearty and flavorful soup that is perfect for a cozy night in or a family dinner.

The Recipe How-To

Step 1: Brown the Beef

In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over high heat. Add the lean ground beef and brown it for about 5-7 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Once the beef is browned, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pot and set it aside.

Step 2: Sauté the Veggies

In the same pot, add the carrots, onions, celery, green peppers, and garlic. Sauté the veggies for about 5-7 minutes until they are slightly softened.

Step 3: Add the Beef and Barley

Add the beef back into the pot with the veggies. Stir in the barley, beef bouillon cubes, water, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, catsup, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 1-2 hours until the barley is cooked through and the flavors have melded together.

Step 4: Serve and Enjoy

Remove the bay leaf and discard it. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot, garnished with some fresh parsley or grated cheese if desired. This beef barley soup recipe is the best ever, and it’s perfect for a cozy and comforting meal on a chilly day.

Substitutions and Variations

While this beef barley soup recipe is pretty perfect as-is, there are a few substitutions and variations you can make to suit your taste preferences or dietary restrictions. Here are some ideas:

– Vegetarian: If you want to make this soup vegetarian, you can omit the beef and beef bouillon cubes and use vegetable broth instead. You could also add some diced potatoes or sweet potatoes for extra heartiness.

– Mushroom barley: If you’re a fan of mushrooms, you can add some sliced mushrooms to this soup for a delicious mushroom barley version.

– Ground beef: While this recipe calls for chuck roast, you could also use lean ground beef if that’s what you have on hand. Just brown the beef in a large pot or Dutch oven before adding the vegetables and other ingredients.

– Pearl barley: This recipe uses regular barley, but you could also use pearl barley if you prefer a softer texture.

– Tomato sauce/crushed tomatoes: If you don’t have tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, you could use catsup instead, or even a can of diced tomatoes.

– Other vegetables: This soup is pretty versatile when it comes to vegetables. You could add some diced green peppers, zucchini, or even some frozen corn or peas for extra color and flavor.

– Spices: Feel free to adjust the spices in this recipe to suit your taste. You could add some dried thyme or oregano, or even a pinch of cayenne pepper for some heat.

Overall, this beef barley soup recipe is very adaptable, so feel free to experiment with different ingredients and flavors to make it your own.

Serving and Pairing

This hearty beef barley soup is a complete meal in itself, but it pairs perfectly with some crusty bread or a side salad. You can serve it as a starter for a larger meal or enjoy it as a main dish for a cozy night in.

For a more filling meal, top the soup with some shredded cheddar cheese or a dollop of sour cream. You can also add some fresh herbs like parsley or thyme to give it an extra burst of flavor.

If you’re looking to pair this soup with a beverage, a full-bodied red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Malbec would be a great choice. For non-alcoholic options, a hot cup of black tea or a cold glass of lemonade would be refreshing.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair this beef barley soup, it’s sure to satisfy your hunger and warm your soul.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

One of the best things about beef barley soup is that it can be made ahead of time and reheated later. This soup actually tastes better the next day because the flavors have a chance to meld together.

To make this soup ahead of time, simply follow the recipe instructions and let the soup cool to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer the soup to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

To reheat the soup, you can do so on the stovetop or in the microwave. If reheating on the stovetop, place the soup in a large pot and heat over medium-low heat until heated through. If using the microwave, transfer the soup to a microwave-safe container and heat in 30-second intervals until heated through, stirring occasionally.

If you plan on freezing the soup, make sure to leave out the barley as it doesn’t freeze well. You can add the barley when you reheat the soup. This soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. To thaw, transfer the soup to the fridge overnight and reheat using the above methods.

When storing the soup, make sure to use an airtight container to prevent any air exposure that can cause spoilage. If the soup has been stored for more than 4 days, it’s best to discard it to prevent foodborne illnesses.

Overall, this beef barley soup recipe is perfect for meal prepping and can be reheated for a quick and hearty meal any day of the week.

Tips for Perfect Results

When it comes to making the best-ever beef barley soup recipe, there are a few tips and tricks that can make all the difference. Here are some of my recommendations for achieving perfect results every time.

Firstly, be sure to use high-quality ingredients. The flavor of this soup comes from the beef, barley, and vegetables, so it’s important to use fresh produce and lean ground beef. Additionally, using beef bouillon cubes or beef base instead of plain water will add depth and richness to the broth.

When browning the beef, make sure to do it in batches and not overcrowd the pan. This will ensure that the beef browns evenly and doesn’t steam. Browning the beef gives it a delicious caramelized flavor that will enhance the overall taste of the soup.

Another important tip is to let the soup simmer for a long time. This will allow the flavors to meld together and create a rich, hearty broth. I recommend simmering the soup for at least 2-3 hours, but it can be simmered for even longer if you have the time.

If you’re using a slow cooker or pressure cooker, follow the instructions carefully and adjust the cooking time accordingly. These appliances can make cooking the soup easier and more convenient, but it’s important to use them correctly to achieve the best results.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of the recipe. You can add mushrooms, green peppers, or other vegetables to the soup to make it even heartier. You can also use pearl barley instead of regular barley for a slightly different texture.

By following these tips and recommendations, you’ll be able to make the best-ever beef barley soup recipe that will warm you up on even the coldest of days.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, this Best-ever Beef Barley Soup Recipe is the perfect comfort food that is easy to make and full of flavors. With the right ingredients and cooking techniques, you can create a hearty and delicious soup that will warm your soul. Whether you are cooking for your family or hosting a dinner party, this recipe is sure to impress your guests.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your ingredients and start cooking! Don’t forget to follow the tips and recommendations to ensure perfect results. From using a Dutch oven or a slow cooker to adding your favorite vegetables or beef cuts, there are many ways to customize this recipe to your liking.

Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of this recipe, such as adding mushrooms or substituting ground beef for chuck roast. The possibilities are endless, and you can create your unique version of the best-ever beef barley soup.

In summary, this recipe is a must-try for all soup lovers out there. It’s easy, hearty, and full of flavors that will satisfy your cravings. So, go ahead and give it a try, and let us know how it turns out. Happy cooking!

Best-ever Beef Barley Soup Recipe

Soups are my very favorite thing to cook! Many great soup recipes have been collected over the 57 years I’ve been cooking…..and this is one of the best. It is easy and the catsup gives it a unique taste that everyone, kids especially, seem to really like. The recipe came from a daughter, who is a great cook…..Sarahloves2cook.

  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup regular barley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup catsup
  • 1 (38 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  1. In Dutch oven or soup pot, saute ground beef until it loses its red color, breaking it up as it cooks.
  2. (I use a two-tined cooking fork.) Add all other ingredients.
  3. Simmer for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.
< 4 Hours, Grains, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Weeknight

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