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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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Course: Main Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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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