Beef & Barley Vegetable Soup

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dairy free
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Hands-on time:
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Yield: a generous 13 cups, 8 to 12 servings

Recipe photo

This hearty soup includes lots of your favorite winter vegetables — celery, carrots, potatoes — in addition to its two mainstays: tender chunks of beef, and pearl barley, which gives the soup substance.

Beef & Barley Vegetable Soup

star rating (4) rate this recipe »
dairy free
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: a generous 13 cups, 8 to 12 servings
Published: 01/25/2013


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halves lengthwise
  • 1 pound beef chuck or stew meat, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 quarts beef broth or stock
  • 2/3 cup medium pearled barley, rinsed in cool water and drained
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium stalk celery, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into 1/2" slices
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2" slices
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into 3/4" cubes
  • 1/4 teaspon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped; or 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes

Tips from our bakers

  • You may easily make this using a slow cooker. Bring the broth to a simmer on the stove top, then transfer to the slow cooker; continue to follow recipe directions as written.


1) Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook until barely golden. Remove the garlic, and set it aside.

2) Working in batches, add a single layer of beef cubes to the skillet and sear on all sides, adding additional oil when necessary. Remove each batch with a slotted spoon, and sprinkle with black pepper. Leave any remaining oil in the skillet, and set it aside.

3) In a large soup pot, bring the stock or broth to a simmer. Add the browned beef and rinsed barley, cover, and return to a full simmer. Reduce heat and cook gently for about 1 1/2 hours.

4) Return the skillet to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, if there wasn't any left over from the beef. Heat and add the onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes.

5) Stir in the oregano and thyme. Cover the skillet and cook over very low heat for about 15 minutes.

6) Transfer the vegetables to the simmering soup, then add the chopped tomatoes and the reserved garlic. Simmer for 15 minutes before serving.

Yield: 12 to 13 cups, 8 to 12 servings.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups Servings Per Batch: 10 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190 Calories from Fat: Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: Trans Fat: Cholesterol: 36mg Sodium: 274mg Total Carbohydrate: 9g Dietary Fiber: 2g Sugars: 0g Protein: 17g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


  • star rating 11/03/2014
  • joecek from KAF Community
  • Classic beef, barley and vegetable soup. Tastes exactly as it should.
  • star rating 10/21/2013
  • JNET from Raleigh, NC
  • This soup is absolutely wonderful - so flavorful and hearty. I made it in my slow cooker after making my own beef stock.
  • star rating 06/20/2013
  • ask from KAF Community
  • This is absolutely delicious. I have made this 4 times and it is a clear winner as is or even with a bit more meat. It is the perfect meal.
  • star rating 02/24/2013
  • from

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