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5 from 5 votes

Hearty Beef Barley Soup

Are you looking for a hearty soup to warm your belly and soul during these cold months? This beef barley soup will do it!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef barley soup, beef soup, beef stew ideas, best beef barley soup
Servings: 6
Author: Amy- A Red Spatula


  • 6-8 quart thick bottom stock pot


  • 1-2 pounds stew meat You can also cut up your own, like I did. As for what type of meat to use, there are plenty of options. A chuck roast is great, it has plenty of good fat,which is awesome. I have used top sirloin roasts before. This one was a lean chuck roast. Cut into 1- 2 inch chunks.
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • cup canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions I prefer a bigger hearty chop here, but if you want a smaller dice, then do that!
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic I know this seems like a lot, but you want plenty of garlic for depth of flavor!
  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • ½ teaspoon salt This is to start, we will adjust seasoning at the end.
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Tony Chachere's seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ¼ cup barley I like to use a pearl barley, but that is up to you!
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup frozen peas


  • Sprinkle beef chunks with all-purpose flour. Set aside while your pan is heating.
    Now, heat your pan over medium-high heat until it is good and hot. You will want to sear yout beef, which means you need a hot pan! Once it is hot, pour in your oil. Once the oil is hot, let's start with the beef. I cooked mine in 2 groups. You won't want to overcrowd the pan. If it gets overcrowded you will start stewing your beef instead of searing the beef. So, start with half your beef. Add it to the pan, spaced out and single layer. Let it cook until the is seared on one side, flip and do the same on the other. Remove from pan and add in your next set of beef chunks. Now, if it used all your oil, add in a few more tablespoons. Cook the same way. Once it is finished, return all the beef to the pan.
    Next up, add in your celery and onions. Cook them with your beef for about 3-5 minutes, stirring consistently. Add in the garlic and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
    Pour in your beef stock and spices. Mix well. Cook on medium-high, stirring ocassionally for about 30 minutes.
    Rinse your barley and add it to the soup. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes.
    At this point, add in your carrots and peas. Continue to cook another 20 minutes. If the soup starts to thicken too much, add in a cup or 2 of water. Everyone's medium-high is actually a different temp, so your's may run a little higher than mine.
    At this point the barley and beef should be tender.
    Only at this point do we adjust for seasoning. The reason for this is as the soup reduces, those flavors and seasoning will intensify. So, if you have added too much salt to begin with, after the reduction, it is going to really salty!!
    Remove your bay leaves and you are ready to go!
    This soup is best served with fresh bread, cornbread, biscuits, or even crackers.
    If you don't finish it all in one day, which we didn't, it is really good as a leftover as well. Simply store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
    Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!