Blissfully Delicious

Beef Barley Soup

I made a few secret New Year’s resolutions related to food earlier this year. One of them was to experiment with new types of grains in my cooking. The reason that I said secret, well, I didn’t really declare it out loud, or even shared this with anyone, even Red. Because I really didn’t want to end up at the last week in December realizing that I haven’t followed through with it throughout the year. He, he! Kind of cheating, huh? But I’m proud to say that I was able to at least try ONE this year, and it was barley. Red loves anything with beef, so when I saw Gina posting this recipe on her blog, I knew that I had to try it right away.

The thought of having big chunks of beef in my soup kind of intimidated me at first (yea, I know, I’m lame like that). Therefore, I decided to add generous amount of veggies into the soup, thinking that if I didn’t care for the beef, at least, I could still have a hearty bowl of the vegetable soup with barley. Plus, I thought that my daughter would probably not go for the beef chunks – she normally goes after everything but the meat on her plate. I was glad to learn that the cubed stew meat fell apart so nicely and fork-tender, thanks to over two hours of simmering on the stove in herb-infused chicken broth. This soup was hearty and flavorful but still light.  And I love how the barley adds almost a nice crunch and bite to the soup; I definitely missed out on not cooking with them sooner. If you have any fave recipes using barley, please share with me, because I’d love to find more recipes using them!

1 tsp oil
1-1/2 lbs lean beef round stew meat
2 cup chopped carrots
1-1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1-2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
2 bay leaves
2/3 cup dry medium barley
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat a large dutch oven on medium heat and add oil.  When the oil is heated, add beef to brown. Season with a little salt let the meat cook for a few minutes, and flip them lightly to ensure that all sides are nicely browned.

Add add sliced carrots, onion, celery and garlic to the pot and mix them together.

Add chicken broth, salt and bay leaves into the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling , reduce heat to low and cover.

Let the soup simmer while covered over low heat until the meat is soft, about 2 hours.

Add the barley, adjust the salt if desired and add fresh ground pepper.

Simmer an additional 60 minutes (depending on the type of barley used), remove bay leaves and serve.

Yield:  Approximately 6-7 cups.

Adapted from Skinny Taste


15 Responses to “Beef Barley Soup”

  1. #
    Frank Mosher — September 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    What a shame you did not suggest the whole grain barley, readily available everywhere, not “pearl barly” which has no fibre, bran or nutrients to speak of, just starch like white rice.Otherwise a very traditional recipe, and with the cavaet I mentioned, a very healthy dish. You may want to try barley in a salad sometime and additionally, it makes fantastic bread. Thank you.

    • Yudith — September 15th, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

      I only saw one type of barley at the store today – but thanks for the heads up though, I’d surely be in the lookout for the whole grain type.

  2. #
    Choc Chip Uru — September 16, 2012 at 1:05 am

    A very healthy and delicious serving of soup my friend, hearty and warming :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. #
    Norma Chang — September 16, 2012 at 5:37 am

    With the approaching of cooler weather this is a timely soup. Shall save to make later.

  4. #
    yummychunklet — September 16, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I don’t know why I’m always passing over beef barley soup. This looks great!

  5. #
    Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen — September 16, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Isn’t it just great when the fall season arrives.. bringing us delicious savory soups like this one? I’m bookmarking it, we’re out for dinner tonight but I can’t wait to make this!!

  6. #
    kitchenriffs — September 16, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Doesn’t barley have a marvelous flavor? I haven’t made a barley soup in ages, and it pairs so well with both meat and veggies. I’m just getting into making soups again, now that cooler weather is coming. Hmmm, I wonder if this will be an inspiration? ;-) Good stuff – thanks.

  7. #
    amy @ fearless homemaker — September 16, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Ooh, I love beef barley soup + this looks amazing! Good for you experimenting with new grains this year – this looks like a huge success!

  8. #
    The Squishy Monster — September 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm


  9. #
    Hotly Spiced — September 16, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I love barley and I cook with it often. It’s a great grain. And I think beef chunks in soup are a great idea. That soup must be full of flavour xx

  10. #
    Cass @foodmyfriend — September 17, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Is that cheesy bread?! Looks lovely and healthy :)

  11. #
    Reem | Simply Reem — September 17, 2012 at 1:21 am

    I still have not tried beef barley soup…
    Need to try this sometime…
    Hope you are doing great Yudith!!

  12. #
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella — September 17, 2012 at 6:00 am

    I’m recalling this sweet barley soup that my mum used to make for us when we were little. I haven’t cooked it myself in ages! :)

  13. #
    Tracey — September 17, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I’ve only made barley a few times, but I really like it. I bet it would be fantastic in this soup, and so perfect for the cooler weather on the way! That cheesy bread in the background looks amazing :)

  14. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — September 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Very good try using new grain! This year’s resolution was baking and dessert making for me, and I tried a couple baked goods and a lot of ice cream. I need to put experimenting with grains in my next year’s resolution too. I hardly cook different grains, mainly because my kids and husband are picky about it. I love your soup. I used to eat this at lunch time at a nice delicatessen near my work, and it reminds me of old days… haha pre-kids days that is… =P

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