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Best Beef Barley Soup Recipe

This winter warmer of a soup boasts plenty of nutrients. It is filling and hearty without being too rich, and beef barley soup is a perfect dish for fall or winter. The following recipe uses stewing beef, which is a very economic cut. You can buy it already cubed or cube it yourself, but do trim off any large pieces of fat or gristle. If you spot some stewing beef on sale it is always worth grabbing extra and freezing it, because beef stew is a wonderful dish to make and you can always make batches of stew and freeze it for future meals.

Pearl barley is a nice grain to use, and it makes a change from potatoes. The bay leaf, dill weed, thyme and black pepper boost the flavor, and using beef broth adds even more meatiness. The soup also includes rutabaga or turnip, corn, onion, celery, and carrots, which add texture, color and of course nutrients.

Feel free to swap some of these veggies around or omit any you are not keen on. If you want to sneak in some extra veggies without the kids knowing, then cook and puree or mash them first. Diced carrots are instantly recognizable as diced carrots but puree or mash some first and this will add nutrients to the soup and thicken it at the same time, as well as appease any picky eaters! Serve this delicious beef barley soup with crusty bread sliced thick, or with a warmed bread roll. Not only does this make it more substantial but it also means you can mop up every last delicious drop of this wonderful broth. This recipe serves 4 as an entrée or 6 as an appetizer.

Beef Barley Soup without Potatoes
Summary: This delicious beef soup boasts plenty of vegetables along with barley, dill and thyme. The flavor is rustic and simple yet so satisfying. Serve this with crusty bread.
Cuisine: American
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1½ lbs stewing beef, in ½ inch cubes
  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 10 oz can low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup chopped rutabaga or turnip
  • 2 chopped celery stalks
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 diced carrots
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Crusty bread, to serve (optional)
  1. Brown the meat in the oil in a big soup pot.
  2. Add everything else to the pot and stir well.
  3. Bring the soup to a boil.
  4. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  5. Cook for 2 hours or until the barley and beef are tender.
  6. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  7. Taste the soup and add some extra boiling water if you want to thin it more, or some additional seasoning if necessary.
  8. Ladle into soup bowls and serve immediately, with some crusty bread on the side.

Photo Description:

You can see how hearty and appealing this beef barley soup is, and no matter how chilly it is outside, this is sure to warm you up inside and give you a lovely glow. The flavor of beef goes beautifully with these winter vegetables, and the seasoning is kept light to allow the beef and vegetable flavors to shine through. If you are looking for fall recipes or something to make on a cool winter’s day, this beef soup with barley is perfect. It is really easy to prepare too, since you just add everything to a big pot and leave it for a couple of hours. Simple!


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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hello there, I'm Christine. Welcome to my blog where you will find a comprehensive collection of soup recipes for every season, occasion and palate. There are hundreds of soup recipes for you to try out, those which warm you up during the cooler months, and even chilled soups and dessert soups if you want to try something new.

Try making your next soup in the pressure cooker or crockpot, or prepare it in the conventional way. Choose from classics such as potato and leek soup, beef broth, French onion soup, or chicken noodle soup, or investigate a more unusual dish, like our cabbage bean soup or one of the Chinese soup recipes.

In addition to soups, broths and chowders, I have collected stew recipes, along with low-calorie, low-carb and heart-healthy options, so you can make soups which are nutritious and good for you, as well as fresh-tasting and delicious. Here at Amazing Soup Recipes, there are recipes for every taste, many of which are really quick and easy to make.

Thanks for visiting,