Beef Barley Soup: Easy Sunday Supper Recipe

Hearty and super simple, this beef barley soup recipe goes from stovetop to table in about an hour! Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or Sunday Supper. Semi-homemade and delicious!

*Update April 2020: This recipe was originally published in 2014. It’s been updated with new images and more information. Enjoy!

beef barley soup in bowl with crackers

Years ago, my husband came home one day, and told me about this amazing beef barley soup he had at our local Elks. Keep in mind, this is a guy who, when you ask him what he thinks of ANYTHING, his answer is “It’s fine.” He just doesn’t get excited about too many things. Anyway, I started asking questions about the soup. What was in it? Was it thick? Was it all barley or just a little barley? He was no help at all, so I decided to just make up my own recipe, and see what he thought. Instead of “It’s fine,” I got “That was pretty good.” So I’ve been making this simple and hearty beef barley soup ever since. 

beef barley soup recipe

Beef Barley Soup Prep Variation

  • When I have time, I like to prepare the meat the day before. Instead of stew meat, I purchase a 2 to 3 pound chuck roast. 
  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  • On medium high heat, add olive oil to the bottom of a dutch oven. 
  • Salt and pepper one side of the chuck roast and place it, salted side down, in the dutch oven.
  • While it’s cooking, salt and pepper the side facing up.
  • Turn the roast so both sides are nicely browned. 
  • Add enough water to come to the top of the roast, but don’t cover it.
  • Bake for 3 hours.
  • Remove from oven and let the dutch oven cool. Refrigerate the whole thing overnight.
  • The next day, remove the meat from the pot and skim off the fat. Cut up the meat for the soup, and use the broth for the base.
beef barley soup in bowl with crackers

Beef Barley Soup

Hearty and super simple, this beef barley soup goes from stovetop to table in about an hour! Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or Sunday Supper. Semi-homemade and delicious!
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Servings: 6 people
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • olive oil
  • 2-3 lbs. stew meat
  • 1 cup carrots chopped
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 10 oz. can Campbell's Beef Consomme
  • 2 cartons beef broth 32 oz. each
  • 1 cup quick cooking barley


  • In the bottom of a soup pot or dutch oven, swirl olive oil to almost cover the bottom.
  • Add stew meat, carrots, celery and onion.
  • Cook and stir until beef is well browned.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add consomme and one carton of beef broth.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add barley.
  • Add enough of the second carton of beef broth to get your desired thickness.
  • Bring to a second boil, lower heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Cover and turn off heat.
  • Let sit on the stove top for 1 hour. Stir well and serve.


I find barley in the rice section of my grocery store.
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When I don’t do the day-ahead variation, this beef barley soup is something I can make in hardly any time at all, and it looks like I’ve been cooking all day. It really is so easy, but tastes like it’s made completely from scratch. One variation that is very good is to substitute tomato juice for one carton of the beef broth. I really like it that way, but my husband prefers the basic version…so that’s what I usually make!

beef barley soup in bowl with crackers

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  1. Sharon H. says:

    A very nice blog today Ann. Something savory, something sweet, and a clever printable. Just the perfect things for as Sunday pick-me-up! Well done!

  2. Karen L. Packer says:

    Hi Anne,
    I printed your recipe out on 10/29/19, but just got around to making it today. Started out a pretty brisk morning at 25 degrees here in Springfield (not too far from you!) so I thought this would be a great hearty soup for this brisk day. Oh my, it didn’t disappoint! Good, hearty and so flavorful! Will definitely become a part of our winter soup rotation!!!\

  3. Charlotte Prow says:

    I made this soup for the second time today. It was delicious both times! This is a recipe I will use over and over again! Thank you Ann!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      You are welcome! I just made it this week too…my dad and my husband love it. Thank you so much and happy holidays!

  4. Amy @ Ms. Toody Goo Shoes says:

    Ann, the soup looks great, but what I am laughing about is that your husband and mine are identical when it comes to food. Everything is “Fine” (good), Fair (not so good) or Pretty Good (better than average). It is extremely rare that he raves about anything! I’ll pin the soup, and hope for a “pretty good!”

    1. Kaye Plumb says:

      I made the Beef Barley Soup and it was just delicious!!!! I am going to give that recipe to my daughter and also to my son. I am sure they will enjoy it as much as I did. K

      1. Ann Drake says:

        Thank you for stopping back and telling me Kaye…I’m glad you liked it! ~Ann

  5. Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads says:

    Ann, I printed your recipe so that I can make this soon when we start adding a few carbs back into our diet. Barley is one of those “good” carbs that we can eat!

  6. Shirley@housepitality designs says:

    Love Beef Barley Soup….pinning away…gorgeous pic Ann!…Have a great weekend!

  7. I had to laugh because whenever I ask my husband what he thinks of this or that, he always says, “It’s fine”.

  8. Julie {Lilacs & Longhorns} says:

    Ha! I had to laugh at your description of your husband — he sounds just like mine! You know you hit the jackpot when they say something is good! lol
    The soup looks delicious and I will definitely give it a try. I’m always looking for something new to add to our rotation! :)

  9. June Mower White says:

    I am certainly going to try this soup! Think I’ll try it with ground beef. I like barly in vegetable soup too!
    Thanks for the wonderful recipes you put on your site!

  10. Mary Stevens says:

    That made me hungry! I’m going to give this a try. I have never tried barley soup before. Thanks.

  11. Ann,

    This soup looks wonderful…..very hearty and definitely perfect for this time of year. Wish I had the ingredients in the house two days ago when I couldn’t get out because of the snow storm and icy roads. Snow in North Carolina…..not a very common sight, but it happens every so often. My grandsons were out of school for 3 days. Wow, were they thrilled. I’ll have to try this soup recipe. Thanks.

  12. Charlotte says:

    Oh, Ann I can’t wait to make this! Thanks for the recipe!
    Charlotte T

  13. I bet my husband would love this too :) I’ll try it soon!

  14. Marty Buckingham says:

    I make this soup using hamburger instead of the stew meat and my husband loves it. I also made it last week using chicken, after I had some at a local restaurant and loved it.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Oh I bet the hamburger is delicious. Thank you for sharing that!

    2. Do you still leave it sit on stovetop for an hour using the ground beef? Thanks!

      1. I use my crockpot and let it cook after I mix the ingredients

  15. Sounds good and warm. Hopefully my husband will like it!

  16. debbiedoos says:

    This so reminded me of my Grandfather. He also was a member of the Elks’s and loved this soup!

  17. Yum! I am making this soup this weekend. My friend brought some to school to share years ago and I loved it. Made a delicious ham and bean soup Tuesday. Homemade soups are the best. Thank you for the recipe.

  18. This brings back memories, it is my Dad’s favorite soup and I have never attempted to make it. I love barley so I guess I should give it a go.