Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
6 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)

Make this soup the night before to allow time for its flavors to develop. Pour hot servings into a thermos to take for lunch, or reheat individual portions in the microwave as needed. Serve the soup with crusty bread, crackers, or Spicy Whole-Wheat Pita Chips.

How to Make It

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chopped onion and beef to pan; cook 10 minutes or until onion is tender and beef is browned, stirring occasionally. Add chopped carrot and chopped celery to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in barley and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until the barley is done and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves.

Ratings & Reviews

shannajk's Review

January 04, 2012

cookinla's Review

January 26, 2013
I'm surprised by the ratings on this recipe, but maybe I just don't appreciate the simplicity of beef and barley soup. I thought this recipe had no flavor, and had to punch it up with salt and pepper to even eat it. The three people I served it to agreed. Maybe I should have added thyme like the other reviews suggested, but I'm not sure if that would have been enough. We ate the whole batch over the week, but it just wasn't great and I won't make again.

vshreiner's Review

January 09, 2011
A tasty and hearty soup/stew. Ate this everyday for a week for lunch and it just got better and better. Didn't have tomato puree so used a can of tomato paste and some red wine. Delicious.

sedutta's Review

February 26, 2009
This was a nice, hearty stew for a cold winter evening. I made a few changes- I used lamb instead of beef and I accidentally added 1.5 cups of barley instead of 1. It was still very good. I think next time, I'll use the other reviewer's suggestion and add some thyme to it. I think that would give it a little extra.

Fishmonster5's Review

February 06, 2013
It wasnt as flavorful or as thick as I like my beef barley soup. Consistency was watery. Next time I will add more tomato, thyme and maybe some flour to thicken.

mouse69's Review

March 15, 2009
Tried this a few nights ago. It was really good! I have a family of picky eaters and everyone really liked it. I added a few peeled cut up red potatoes and added a little more garlic than the recommended amount. Very easy to make.

nomich's Review

October 22, 2009
I gave this five stars because of the ease of this recipe and for the flavorful results. My previous go-to recipe took all day and required an entire chuck roast. I would definitely choose this recipe any day! The only change I made was to cook the onions down longer before adding the beef along with some extra fresh cracked pepper. Delicious and easy!

skspillman's Review

March 30, 2009
I made this soup this weekend when it was unseasonably cool, and it was delicious. I made two batches. I used 1 pound sirloin steak and a half-pound chuck steak in each batch. I only used 1 cup of carrots, I added 1 cup chopped red potatoes, and used 1 1/2 cups of barley in each batch. I will definitely make this again!

enigma2's Review

April 15, 2009
I was excited to try this because I have memories of my mom making this when I was a child. But, I was disappointed, it was very bland and boring. Needs something to give it some spice. Was better the second day, when the barley really got a chance to absorb some of the liquid and puff up.

NadiaidanM's Review

January 06, 2011
This is my go to recipe - I make it at least 3 times a month to pack for lunches and it's a guaranteed meal my foodie 2 year old will gobble down! I find it easy to pull together and delicious - though I do add dried oregano, thyme and basil to the soup and lots of extra black pepper, but this soup is great as written :-)