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Beef and Barley Soup
with celery / carrots / baguette

Active: 20 minTotal: 1 hr 20 min

Hearty and comforting, this classic soup got great reviews when first featured in 2017.
Smarts: The soup requires 45 to 60 minutes of hands-off simmer time to cook the pearl barley and beef. If you are going to be short on time the night you'll serve this, make the soup ahead (it reheats well).
Smarts: This recipe could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.



Beef and Barley Soup:
  • Carrots - 6 oz, chopped
  • Celery - 3 stalks, chopped
  • Onions, medium - 1, chopped
  • Beef, stew meat - 1 lb
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Thyme, dried - 1/2 tsp
  • Red pepper flakes - 1/4 tsp
  • Green onions - 2 stalks, chopped, green and white parts combined
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Butter - 2 Tbsp
  • Pearl barley - 1/3 cup (sub cooked white beans, using 3x the amount listed)
  • Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
  • Flour, all-purpose - 2 Tbsp
  • Stock, beef - 5 cups
  • Bay leaves (opt) - 2
  • Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
  • Yogurt, plain or Greek - 1/2 cup
  • Baguette, small (opt) - 1

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Carrots / Celery / Onions - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Season beef - Toss beef with salt, garlic powder, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Tenderize with a fork. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  3. Green onions - Slice green onions, combining green and white parts. (Can be done 1 day ahead)


  1. Heat a Dutch oven with oil over medium-high heat. Add beef and saute until beef is brown on the outside, 7 to 8 minutes (don’t worry if it’s not cooked through). Set beef aside and return pan to heat.
  2. Add butter and then carrots, celery, onions, and barley (if using beans as a sub for barley, wait to add them) to melted butter. Saute until vegetables are starting to soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and flour and cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Pour stock and bay leaves over vegetables and add beef back to pan. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until barley and beef are both tender, 45 to 60 minutes. (If using quick cooking barley, add it 10 minutes before the beef is finished.)
  5. Stir lemon juice (if using white beans as a barley sub, drain and rinse and then add to soup) into soup and season with some salt and pepper.
  6. Divide soup between bowls. Enjoy with yogurt and green onions on top and baguette on the side.

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This meal has 36 reviews

Second time making this one. I doubled the barley, added a bit of red wine before the veggies, and I didn't have celery so I subbed cabbage instead.

By: Tim
Posted: Nov 24, 2019
Diet: Original

Was good. Would double the barley next time.

By: Teresa
Posted: May 03, 2019
Diet: Original

Really love this soup. Relatively easy and so tasty. I've made it three times now and will be making it for years to come!

By: Abigail
Posted: Apr 10, 2019
Diet: Paleo

Loved the flavor! Used beef broth instead of water.

By: Christie
Posted: Mar 31, 2019
Diet: Original

Great flavour! Love the spice combination.

By: Lindsay
Posted: Mar 24, 2019
Diet: Vegetarian

Substituted the heck out of this one, but what we ended up with was great. Used Gardein beef tips and vegetable broth to make vegetarian, doubled the butter, and used wild rice in place of the barley. Had to cook for an extra 20 minutes for the rice, but all the extra cooking time made the (non-)beef tips nice and tender.

By: Jenn
Posted: Mar 21, 2019
Diet: Original