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Beef and Barley Soup
with celery / carrots / baguette

Active: 20 minTotal: 1 hr 20 min
20190304 beef barley soup nm 2.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

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 31 reviews

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

Excellent soup. Will be making again.

By: Sarah
Posted: Mar 20, 2019
Diet: Original

loved this! will definitely save for winter!

By: Cindy
Posted: Mar 19, 2019
Diet: Paleo

I loved this. This may be a new rainy day go-to recipe.

By: Chelsea
Posted: Mar 16, 2019
Diet: Original

So I prepped EVERYTHING for this meal and left it and the printed instructions for my bf to prepare. He wouldn't stop raving about how good it was, and he did it all. Basically perfection right there!

By: Lily
Posted: Mar 15, 2019
Diet: Original

I loved the flavor of this, and after reading the reviews I decided to skip the baguette and add more barley. I think next time I'll add more vegetables as well to make this even heartier.

By: Melissa
Posted: Mar 14, 2019
Diet: Original