Beef Barley Soup

The whole family will love this easy homemade Beef Barley Soup. It’s made in one pot, has plenty of seasoning and is ready from start to finish in 1 hour!

close up of soup in a bowl with beef and barley

Somehow, winter is still here (anyone else already wishing for spring?!), so I say bring on ALL the soup recipes!

This beef barley soup couldn’t be simply — you just add everything to a dutch oven and let it simmer until the barley is cooked. Easy peasy!

If you’re looking for more of my personal favorite soup recipes, you must try my sausage potato soup and Instant Pot white chicken chili. Seriously, you won’t be disappointed!

Oh, and be sure to serve the soup with an avocado grilled cheese sandwich (because hello — soup and grilled cheese were made for each other!) and you have the ultimate cozy meal.

Recipe features

  • This soup is made in one pot (the BEST kind of recipes are!)
  • Flavored using tomato paste, soy sauce, and herbs like thyme and rosemary
  • Loaded with beef (I try to opt for grass-fed) and barley, making it both healthy and hearty

bowl of soup filled with cubes of beef

Ingredient notes:

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are fairly straightforward, but I want to provide a little clarification on a few of them.

Beef – I used pre-cubed chuck roast, but you could also use flank steak, or any leftover cooked beef you may have in your refrigerator

Soy sauce – Can sub tamari or coconut aminos if you prefer

Beef broth – No substitutions, but just note that the soup will thicken as it cools, so you may need to add either more beef broth or some water to thin in out

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1: Cook the beef. Begin by adding the cubed beef to a dutch oven and searing it over medium-high heat until it’s cooked, then transfer it to a bowl and set it aside.

cubes of beef being seared in a dutch oven

Step 2: Sauté the vegetables. Next, add the olive oil, carrot, celery, onion, and garlic to the same pot and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the carrots have softened. Add the tomato paste, soy sauce, thyme, rosemary, and salt and sauté for 1 minute.

cooked diced carrots, celery and onion in a dutch oven

Step 3: Simmer. Add the beef back into the pot, along with the broth and barley. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the dutch oven and simmer the soup for 40-50 minutes or until the barley is cooked.

Tips and FAQ’s

  • I like to buy a tube of tomato paste instead of a can; it lasts longer and makes a little more sense when you only need one tablespoon (like in this recipe).

cooked soup in a large dutch oven

What is the best beef for this soup recipe?

I find chuck roast or beef stew meat (pre-cubed) works perfectly, but the beauty of soup is that you can really use ANY kind (seriously!). My number one pick is chuck roast, but if you have leftover cooked beef in your refrigerator, you can absolutely use that instead.

Where can I find barley?

Oddly, I find barley a little tricky find (or that some stores don’t carry many brands of it). At the grocery store, it should be located with the rest of the grains, so in the rice and beans aisle.

Is barley healthy?

Yep! It boasts a fair amount of fiber, and we all know fiber is a good thing. Good Housekeeping wrote an article on the 7 health benefits of barley if you want to check it out.

How should this soup be stored?

Store soup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just know that, the longer the soup sits, the more the barley will absorb some of the broth. So, whenever you reheat it, you’ll most likely have to add extra broth or water to thin it out.

a bowl of soup on top of a striped linen

More tasty beef recipes:

If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!

close up of soup in a bowl with beef and barley
Print

Beef Barley Soup

The whole family will love this easy homemade Beef Barley Soup. It's made in one pot, has plenty of seasoning and is ready from start to finish in 1 hour!
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword beef barley soup, beef soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 351kcal
Author Erin

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb. chuck roast cubed
  • 1 tsp olive oil or more
  • 1 cup carrot sliced
  • 1/2 cup celery sliced
  • 3/4 cup yellow onion diced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup barley

Instructions

  • Add beef to a large dutch oven, then sear it for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat, or until it's cooked. Transfer beef to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add oil to the dutch oven, then add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until they've softened. Then, add the soy sauce, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, and salt and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Place the beef back into the pot, then add the bay leaf, broth and barley. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover. reduce heat to a simmer and simmer the soup for 40-50 minutes or until the barley is cooked.

Notes

*Calories are per serving and are an estimation 
*Store soup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
*To reheat: add soup to a large pot or dutch oven and heat over medium until it's warmed through. NOTE: you will have to add more broth or water to thin out the soup because it thickens once it cools. 

Nutrition

Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 1754mg | Potassium: 795mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3673IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 4mg

UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in November 2015. It was updated with new text and photos in February 2021.

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Beef Barley Soup