Vegetable Beef Barley Soup Recipe

This vegetable beef barley soup can really do it all. It can be an entire meal in and of itself, making a hearty lunch or dinner without anything else served — though it's definitely best served "with a good crusty bread," says chef and recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge. It can be a starter or a side, or it can even be ladled over rice or noodles to make a meal that much more robust. And, it can be made in large batches and stored in the fridge for three or four days, or frozen for up to three months, so you can make the soup now and know your meals are covered for those times when time is tight.

What's more, is that aside from the beef itself, everything that goes into it has a long, stable fridge or shelf life (even the fresh herbs, if stored properly) so you can keep most of the ingredients on hand at all times for whenever you want a great soup. Indeed, this vegetable beef barley soup really does cover every base, and that's why we know you'll love this recipe — let's dive right in!

Gather your ingredients for vegetable beef barley soup

This soup calls for a lot of common ingredients brought together in a wonderful way. You'll need a carrot, an onion, a stalk of celery, garlic cloves, sprigs of fresh rosemary and fresh thyme, oil, a bit less than a pound of diced casserole beef (AKA chuck steak), a cup of pearl barley, lots of beef broth, and of course some salt. Also, note that if you want to make a vegan version of this soup, you can use a veggie broth and chunks of seitan.

Chop the veggies and mince the herbs

Begin the recipe by dicing the carrot, the onion, and the celery, chopping the vegetables into roughly ½-inch cubes — make sure they are bite sized, as this soup does not get blended. Next, peel and slice the garlic cloves thinly. Then pick the leaves off the rosemary and thyme sprigs, discard of the stems, and then mince the leaves finely. You can even use kitchen shears to chop them if preferred.

Begin cooking the ingredients in order

Get a decently large pot onto the stove and into it place the oil, the chopped onion, and the chopped garlic, let these cook for two minutes over a medium-high heat. After the two minutes, place the diced beef into the pot and let that cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, after those five minutes, add the diced carrot and celery, mix everything together, and then add the pearl barley.

Add the broth and herbs and simmer away

Right after you add the pearl barley to the pot, pour in the beef broth and then sprinkle in the chopped rosemary, chopped thyme, and the salt. Mix everything together, then let the soup cook on low-medium heat for 25 minutes. At about 12 minutes, stir through everything a few times. The one mistake to watch for with this recipe? Olayinka says: "Just don't burn the soup. It's very easily done, [which is why] I tell readers to stir half way — this will prevent any sticking to the bottom of the pot." After the cooking time is up, take the pot off the heat and serve your hearty soup. You can enjoy this alone, with some bread, or over rice — the possibilities are endless.

Vegetable Beef Barley Soup Recipe
5 from 38 ratings
This soup is loaded with vegetables, beef, and barley, making it a truly fulfilling meal option.
Prep Time
Cook Time
soup in a bowl
Total time: 42 minutes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery rib
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 14 ounces beef chuck, diced
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 7 cups beef broth
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Begin the recipe by dicing the carrot, onion, and celery into ½-inch cubes, and slice the garlic thinly.
  2. Pick the leaves off the rosemary and thyme then dice them finely.
  3. In a large pot place the oil, chopped onion, and chopped garlic, and let these ingredients cook for 2 minutes on medium-high heat.
  4. After 2 minutes, place the diced beef inside and let that cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times.
  5. After 5 minutes, add the diced carrot and celery, mix everything together, then add the pearl barley.
  6. Add the beef broth, chopped rosemary, chopped thyme, and salt, then stir together. Let the soup cook on a low-medium heat for 25 minutes.
  7. Gently stir the soup at 12 minutes.
  8. After 25 minutes, take the pot off the heat and serve.
Calories per Serving 436
Total Fat 13.5 g
Saturated Fat 3.0 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 62.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 45.0 g
Dietary Fiber 9.7 g
Total Sugars 4.8 g
Sodium 1,227.0 mg
Protein 36.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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