Beef barley soup has tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil and originates from the lower French region of Provence. But most importantly, it’s delicious, simple to make, and warms the heart and soul.
Growing up in retail, every Christmas day we would celebrate the holiday by making it as comfortable, easy, and peaceful as possible. That meant making a soup that soothed the soul as we tried to soothe the aching soles of our feet. This beef barley soup recipe was one of our favorites.
How to make beef barley soup
- In a large soup pot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. After the butter has melted, add the 12 ounces of beef 1-inch cubes (dried* and lightly salted) and brown on all sides over medium heat.
- Add 1 cup diced celery, 1 cup diced carrots, 2 cups frozen green beans cut in small pieces, and 1 medium onion diced. Sweat the vegetables over medium-low heat.
- Add 12 cups beef stock and 1 cup dried pearl barley. Simmer and skim fat from the surface. Simmer until the barley is tender, about 20-30 minutes.
- Add 1 can (14.5 oz) of diced tomatoes and their juice. Simmer another 10 minutes.
- Skim fat off the top as needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.
*Pro Tip: Dried beef browns better than wet meat. If the meat is too wet, it will steam and have a hard time browning.
Can you Freeze Beef Barley Soup?
I think one of the main reasons I enjoy this particular soup so much is because each day it keeps getting better and better. It also has deep hearty flavors, it freezes well, and you can make it in the slow cooker or on the stove.
Top it off with some fresh parmesan and you’ll find it hard to stop with just one bowl. Since you can simmer it for hours, it makes your house smell soooooo good!
Beef Barley Soup Variations
- Hearty Vegetable Soup – Swap out the beef stock for vegetable stock, omit the beef altogether, and add 16 ounces of sautéed baby Bella mushrooms
- Vegetable and Rice Soup – Just like above and add 1 1/2 cups cooked rice instead of barley
- Vegetable Chicken Soup – Use chicken stock instead of beef stock, switched out the beef for 2 cups of cooked chicken, and leave out the tomatoes and barley
- Chicken and Rice Soup – Just like above and add rice
- Vegetable Beef Soup – Leave out the barley
The barley gives this soup a gentle nuttiness that plays really nicely with the tomatoes, garlic, and beef. After trudging through the snow or coming in out of the frigid wind, a bowl of this rustic beef barley soup will warm you to your core.
By the way, if you pair this up with a crispy on the outside ooey-gooey on the inside grilled cheese sandwich, you might just completely bliss out!
Bonus Tip: To make your Grilled Cheese extra crispy, spread a light coat of mayonnaise to both sides of the outside of the sandwich. After you’ve flipped it, cover skillet with a tight fitting lid. This will ensure the maximum level of cheesy melty goodness.
Beef Barley Soup
This Beef Barley Soup has tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil and originates from the lower French region of Provence. But most importantly, it's delicious, simple to make, and warms the heart and soul. | www.lakesidetable.com
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 12 ounces beef cut into 1 – 2 inch cubes
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1 cup carrots diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 3 quarts beef stock
- 1 (14.5 oz) can canned diced tomatoes fire roasted
- 1 cup barley dried
- 1 tablespoon Italinan herbs dried
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
- parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
In a large soup pot, melt the butter.
After the butter has melted, add the beef and brown on all sides over medium heat.
Add the celery, carrots, and onions and sweat them over medium-low heat. Do not brown them.
Add the beef stock and barley. Simmer and skim fat from the surface. Simmer until the barley is tender, about 20-30 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their juice from the can. Simmer another 10 minutes.
Skim again to degrease. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley and parmesan.
This soup freezes well. Freeze it in ziplock bags flat in your freezer. When they are frozen solid, stand them up like books on a shelf for easy availability.
This is a nice soup to have on the stove for an afternoon. If you do, try to keep it steaming but not at a full simmer for no more than 2 hours. This will help preserve the integrity and flavor of the vegetables.