Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. You'll love these soup recipes.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Beef and Barley Soup Recipe

Whether it’s the coldest day of the year or the beginning of warmer temperatures, this beef and barley soup is the perfect recipe to prepare. Full of hearty chunks of beef, carrots, and celery and finished with pearled barley, the soup has a warming effect that’s second the none. The best part is that it takes only a few steps to prepare, simply some browning of the meat, and you’re on your way!

Why this recipe works.

If you think beef and barley soup sounds like a meal your grandparents would have enjoyed, you are right, but so were your grandparents. This soup will show you why it is worth making and will be in your regular rotation. Slow-cooking beef chuck roast is what creates a tender beef bourguignon or a fall-a-part Sunday roast. This same technique can create a tender and flavor-filled beef and barley soup. Oftentimes beef soup is part of vegetable soup and can be boring without much flavor. To create a soup full of beef flavor, this recipe creates a rich stock with the roast. After slow-cooking cooking, the beef, carrots, celery, and onion are added with barley and herbs. The barley soaks in the beef stock while tenderizing, making a hearty and full-filling meal.

Large metal stockpot sitting on white marble surface with browned colored soup with metal ladle about to ladle a serving.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Chuck roast is a perfect choice for long and slow cooking. The roast has ribbons of fast that melt during cooking, leaving a tender and melt-in-your-mouth meat.
  • Beef stock is a great way to ensure a rich flavor. Use low-sodium when possible to control the amount of salt in the recipe.
  • Diced tomatoes give a bit of acidity and texture to the soup. The tomatoes add some bright flavor and blend easily with the beef flavor.
  • Red wine is a great way to add a rich flavor. Use a wine you enjoy drinking, like cabernet sauvignon.
  • Parsley is often used as a garnish, but don’t throw the stems away as many flavors are trapped in the stems. Use the stems during the cooking process to help give a fresh vegetable flavor.
  • Pearled barley is barley that has been removed from the outer fibrous shell. The barley is added in the last hour of cooking, so it doesn’t overcook.
Marble surface filled with all ingredients needed to prepare beef and barley soup including raw chuck roast, celery, carrots, herbs, spices, red wine, barley, onion, and more.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

  1. Slice the roast. Prepare the chuck roast by cutting it into 1-inch pieces, starting by slicing it into strips and then into cubes. Place the meat cubes on a plate and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Toss the meat in the spices to ensure each piece is well coated.
  1. Brown the roast. Heat the neutral oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add half of the sliced chuck roast, leaving space around each piece of meat so that it browns. Once the first half of the meat has browned, remove it to a plate and add the second half. When the second half has browned, remove it as well and set the meat aside. Leave all of the juices and browned bits in the pan.
  1. Add the flavorings. Chop up the onion and add it directly to the fond in the pan. Let it sauté until it has turned a deep brown color. Then add the tomato paste and stir it with the onion to cook off some of the raw tomato flavor. Add the red wine, stirring to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
  1. Add the liquid and herbs. Once the red wine has cooked off, add the beef back into the stockpot along with any juices. Pour on the beef stock and diced tomatoes and stir everything together. Separately, slice off the stalks of the fresh parsley and, using butcher’s twine, combine the parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Smash the garlic cloves and remove the skin. Then add the herb packet, bay leaves, and garlic cloves to the soup. Let the soup come to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer and allow it to cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
  1. Add the barley and vegetables. In the last hour of simmering, add in the pearled barley, chopped carrots, and chopped celery. Stir everything together and let it simmer for 1 to 1 ¼ hours. Once the soup has fully cooked, remove it from the stove, remove the herb packet and bay leaves, add the leaves of fresh parsley, and serve immediately.

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • When slicing the chuck roast into cubes, make sure to remove any large chunks of fat. While some fat is good when it comes to this soup, overly large pieces can be chewy and not welcome when biting into the meat.
  • Brown the meat in two batches. This will ensure that the pieces of meat have ample space in which to develop their crust without touching each other, which would cause them to steam rather than caramelize. You’ll know the meat is ready to be turned when it releases easily from the bottom of the pan.
  • Make sure to add the chopped carrots and celery to the soup in the last hour of cooking. If these two vegetables are added too early, they’ll become mushy and way too soft. One hour should be the perfect amount of time to soften them.
White marble surface with metal stockpot filled with brown-colored beef and barley soup with ladle holding serving of soup showing barley.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Does the red wine have to be added to the soup?

The red wine deepens the flavor and gives a balanced flavor to the rich soup. The wine can be left out, with no adjustment needed since the wine is cooked until mostly evaporated.

Can this soup be prepared the day before serving?

Partly. The soup can be made ahead and is delicious as leftovers. The barley will continue to absorb the liquid and change in texture. I would prepare the soup to the point of adding vegetables and barley. On the day of serving, bring the soup to a simmer, add the vegetables and barley, and finish the recipe as stated.

Can this soup be prepared and then frozen for meals at a later time?

Yes, the leftovers can be frozen and enjoyed later.

What is the best thing to serve with this recipe?

The soup is perfect with crusty artisan bread and a side salad with a bright vinaigrette to cut through the rich soup.

Watch how to make this recipe.

More soup recipes to try

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you can let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they, too, can make, enjoy, and love!

Large metal stockpot sitting on white marble surface with metal ladle resting on the bottom of the pot with beef and barley resting in the ladle.

Beef and Barley Soup

5 from 6 votes
Whether it’s the coldest day of the year or the beginning of warmer temperatures, this beef and barley soup is the perfect recipe to prepare. Full of hearty chunks of beef, carrots, and celery and finished with pearled barley, the soup has a warming effect that’s second the none. The best part is that it takes only a few steps to prepare, simply some browning of the meat, and you’re on your way!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 55 minutes
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lb beef chuck roast cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • 6 cups low-sodium beef stock
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed, husks removed
  • 1 ¼ cups pearled barley
  • 4 carrots cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 2 ribs celery cut into ¼-inch pieces

Instructions
 

  • Cut the chuck roast into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle the pieces with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat the oil in a large oven-safe Dutch oven or stockpot over medium to medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add half of the beef. Sear the beef on two sides until it is well browned and has a crust, 4-6 minutes per side. Once seared, set the beef aside on a plate. Do the same process to the remaining half of the beef.
    2 lb beef chuck roast, 2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • When the beef is seared, turn the heat down and allow the Dutch oven to cool slightly. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until it is soft and browned, 4-5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir into the onion until it deepens in color, 2-3 minutes. Add the red wine. Cook and stir the wine, bringing up all the brown bits on the Dutch oven, deglazing, until the wine is almost fully evaporated, 3-4 minutes.
    1 medium onion, 1 tbsp tomato paste, ¾ cup red wine
  • After the wine is evaporated, add the beef and any juices back to the Dutch oven. Pour in the beef stock and diced tomatoes with their juice. Separately, cut the stems off of the parsley. Using butcher's twine, tie together the parsley stems, rosemary, and thyme. Add the bundled herbs, bay leaves, and garlic cloves to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer the soup until the meat is mostly tender, 1 ½ to 2 hours.
    6 cups low-sodium beef stock, 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes, 1 bunch parsley, 2 sprigs rosemary, 3 sprigs thyme, 3 bay leaves, 2 cloves garlic
  • After the beef has cooked, add the pearled barley, celery, and carrots. Simmer the soup until the barley is tender, 1 to 1 ¼ hours. Once cooked, remove the bundled herbs and bay leaves. Chop the remaining parsley, add it to the soup, and serve.
    1 ¼ cups pearled barley, 2 ribs celery, 4 carrots

Notes

  • When slicing the chuck roast into cubes, make sure to remove any large chunks of fat. While some fat is good when it comes to this soup, overly large pieces can be chewy and not welcome when biting into the meat.
  • Brown the meat in two batches. This will ensure that the pieces of meat have ample space in which to develop their crust without touching each other, which would cause them to steam rather than caramelize. You’ll know the meat is ready to be turned when it releases easily from the bottom of the pan.
  • Make sure to add the chopped carrots and celery to the soup in the last hour of cooking. If these two vegetables are added too early, they’ll become mushy and way too soft. One hour should be the perfect amount of time to soften them.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 287kcal
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Cooking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this today. I cooked the barley separately in beef broth and will add as needed when I serve the soup. I might sauté some sliced baby bellas shrooms and add to the soup tomorrow.
    Easy peasy and good.

  2. Another fantastic recipe! My family loves it! Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful recipes with us!