Beef and Barley Soup

Beef and Barley Soup is a hearty soup recipe packed with veggies, super tender beef, and whole grain barley. It’s the perfect simple and healthy meal for a cold rainy day.

bowl of beef and barley soup

Vegetable soup isn’t always the most filling dish to eat for a meal but this Beef and Barley Soup is because it is loaded with protein, veggies, and whole grains. It’s pretty much the only soup my husband is excited about eating for dinner. But with two pounds of beef, how could one not be?! Even my little girls love it- which is awesome because it’s a balanced meal that’s easy for me to make and clean up since it only requires one pot.

how to make beef and barley soup

How to Make Beef and Barley Soup

First, you’ll prep the meat by cutting it into 1/2 inch pieces.Since a chuck roast is a pretty tough cut of meat, it requires a longer cooking time to make it perfectly fall-apart tender. You don’t want too big of chunks since this is a soup, and you’ll want to fit more on each spoonful than one hunk of meat.

Next, you’ll season the meat with salt and pepper and then brown it in the stock pot. The key to browning meat is to not stir it very often. Just toss the meat into the heated, oiled pot and let it cook 2 to 3 minutes before flipping. Since this soup has two pounds of beef in it, you’ll want to work in batches so every piece gets evenly browned.

spoonful of beef and barley soup
Next, you’ll cook the onions and celery. For almost all my soups I like to dice my onions and celery pretty small so that they are really tender and almost disappear when cooked. After they are nice and soft, you can toss the beef back in the pot along with all the other veggies, broth, spices, and herbs. You’ll save the green beans for the very end so that they don’t turn that ugly lunch lady green bean color. You know what I mean.

recipe for beef and barley soup

After you stir in all the ingredients you’ll bring it to a simmer, cover, and cook it on low for 60 to 90 minutes or until the beef is tender.  Then you can add in the green beans and simmer for just a few minutes and then you’re done. Serve it up with some crusty bread so you can soak up every last drop of yummy broth.

This soup is great as leftovers the next day, or you can even freeze it for those days when you’re too busy to cook.

Beef and Barley Soup

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 90 minutes


  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 15 ounce diced tomatoes
  • 3 red potatoes, cubed
  • 2/3 cup pearl barley
  • 6 cups beef broth (or water and bouillon)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • Fresh parsley (for garnish)


  1. Season beef with salt and pepper. Place 2 teaspoons oil in the bottom of a pot. When hot, work in batches to brown the beef. Place on a plate once browned.
  2. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pot and saute the onions and celery over medium heat until softened. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  3. Add in the browned beef, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, barley, broth, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer 60-90 minutes or until beef is tender.
  4. Add the green beans and simmer 4 more minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Serve garnished with parsley and a side of hearty bread.

Here are a few more soup recipes you might enjoy: