dinner · lunch · Recipes

Hearty Beef & Barley Soup

Hearty, satisfying, and soul warming. This soup will help you survive a seemingly endless winter.

Hearty Beef & Barley Soup

Yield: 8 servings   Prep: 15 minutes   Cook: Stovetop- 1.5 hr, Crockpot- 4-6 hrs



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 lbs stewing beef
  • salt & pepper
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2-3 medium potatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp corn starch & ¼ cup water (optional)

Instructions for Dutch Oven:

Dice all vegetables to desired size.

In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Season beef generously with salt and pepper. In small batches, brown the beef cubes on all sides (this is so that the beef stays tender in the stew). When all the beef is browned set it aside. Put the diced onions in the pot and another tbsp of oil if the pot is dry. Allow the onion to cook down and caramelize (a sprinkle of salt helps this process along). After the onions have softened, add in the tomato paste to cook out as well, stirring continually for 3 minutes. Finally, add the cubed beef back into the pot along with the beef stock. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot and lift any brown bits that are stuck down there to add even more flavour. Cover the pot and allow the beef to cook in the broth for 20 minutes. Add the vegetables, barley, Worcestershire, soy, garlic, thyme, and parsley. Cover and cook for 40 minutes. If the end results are not a thick as you’d like (I like it thicker) combine the water and cornstarch and add it to the soup. Cook uncovered for 15 more minutes. Enjoy!

Instructions for Slow Cooker: 

Dice all vegetables to desired size.

In a pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper. In small batches, brown the beef cubes on all sides (this is so that the beef stays tender in the stew). Add the beef stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire, soya, onion, garlic, thyme, and parsley into the slow cooker and whisk to combine. Add in the beef, barley, and vegetables. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Combine the water and cornstarch and add it to the soup. Cook uncovered for 30 more minutes on high. Enjoy!

This is kind of cross between a soup and a stew… stoup?

Tips for cooking:

I add the corn starch to thicken the liquid because I like it like that. If you like the way it comes out before adding corn starch then skip it. 

I also leave the potatoes in large chunks. I do this because I freeze half the soup and leave out the potatoes. I don’t like the texture of potatoes after they’ve been frozen and thawed. 



11 thoughts on “Hearty Beef & Barley Soup

  1. Yummmmy !! Only change I made, was to carmelize the onions and then add the tomato paste to the pan and cook for a minute or so with the onions, to get that kind of raw tomato can taste out of the tomato paste. I’ve seen this done on many cooking shows. 🙂


  2. Cooking it right now!!! Looking and smelling amazing! Thanks for the recipe, beef barley is my husband’s favorite. I know he will love it. This recipe has more spices than most beef barley soups. That’s why I am trying it. More spices, more flavorful!!!


  3. Made this last night and it was a hit. Perfect for a cold winter dinner. Yum, will definitely be adding this one to my winter soup line up.


  4. I made this tonight with a few alterations. I did not add parsnips or corn. I substituted petite diced tomatoes for the tomato paste. I used 2/3 Cup barley and I did not add the cornstarch at the end. I cooked it in the crockpot on low for 6 hrs. It was excellent!


  5. Yikes! Made it for a friend recovering from hip replacement. Inadvertently added 1 tablespoon of onion powder instead of one teaspoon! Will taste again after the vegetables and barley cook.


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