Vegetable Beef Barley Soup Recipe

Hearty and super simple, this vegetable beef barley soup recipe goes from stovetop to table in about an hour! Perfect for busy weeknight dinners, it’s semi-homemade and delicious!

vegetable barley soup recipe 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.” Which from him, is high praise. So I’ve been making this simple and hearty vegetable beef barley soup ever since!

Why This Recipe Works

This beef barley soup is something you can make in hardly any time at all, and it tastes like you’ve been cooking all day. It really is so easy, but everyone will think it’s made completely from scratch.

beef barley soup recipe ingredients

Ingredient Notes + Variations

  • One variation that is very good is to substitute tomato juice for one carton of the beef broth. (I make my vegetable beef soup this way.)
  • I have used both chopped carrots and bagged shredded carrots. The shredded carrots are, of course, faster because there’s no chopping involved. Both are equally good.
  • When choosing your chuck roast or stew meat, look for good marbling. This adds tremendous flavor.
  • Beef stock can be used in place of beef broth.
beef barley soup aromatics in dutch oven

How To Make

  • 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.
vegetable beef barley soup in dutch oven

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 soup base.
blue soup pot graphic

Note: soup making is not an exact science. I have made countless pots of soup, and no two have turned out the same. The measurements in all of my soup recipes are guidelines, and can easily be adjusted according to your family’s tastes.

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vegetable barley soup recipe in bowl with crackers

Beef Barley Soup

Hearty and super simple, this vegetable beef barley soup recipe goes from stovetop to table in about an hour! Perfect for busy weeknight dinners, it's semi-homemade and delicious!
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5 from 1 vote
Servings: 8 people
Author: Ann Drake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
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Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 3 lbs. stew meat
  • 1 cup carrots (shredded or chopped)
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • salt and pepper
  • 10 oz. Beef Consomme (I use Campbell's)
  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 252mg | Potassium: 766mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2735IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 4mg
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If you make this recipe, and love it, please come back to leave a comment and a 5-star review. I would really appreciate it, and it would help me so much. Thank you!

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Recipe Rating




27 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delish! And my husband likes it, too! Shared the recipe with a couple of friends who were looking for good soup recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ann, I printed your recipe and I can’t wait to make this! Some cooler weather is blowing in next week making it soup time!😀 I will definitely come back to rate it!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!!!\

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

  6. 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