Why I love this beef barley soup recipe
It’s finally Halloween, and it’s a big Halloween for us. Today is actually my due date for baby number two, but we were lucky enough to meet him a week early, which makes this our very first Halloween as a family of four.
We’re already comfy at home and getting back into the swing of things. I’ll be sharing more about our newest addition later this week.
I’m so happy Ellie isn’t missing out on the festivities because Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays. I think it’s because it’s was filled with excitement and I associate it with the coziness of fall.
I have so many great childhood Halloween memories, and I’ve always loved it. This year, Ellie decided months in advance, and our little bat witch will be trick-or-treating with her dad while her brother and I hand out candy tonight.
Those memories include a big bowl of healthy vegetable beef barley soup before we went out hunting for candy and warm apple crisp for dessert when we got back. We had it every single year (as far as I can remember at least), and when I moved away with Marc, I started making it myself.
I published it a few years back, while we were living in France, but since the photos were rather unappetizing and I used French ingredients in the original recipe, I thought I’d revisit the recipe and update it a bit.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
Dairy Free Tip: Bouillon is one of those products that is full of hidden dairy, especially the beef kind. Make sure you’re checking your labels before using anything that’s in your pantry, and if you’re shopping for new, check the organic section or opt for beef base instead of bouillon. Either way, always check your labels.
How do you make beef barley soup from scratch?
Brown the beef. Heat a large pot to high. Make sure your stew meat is nice and dry. Then season it with salt & pepper. Add olive oil to the pan and brown the beef until it’s no longer pink.
Simmer the meat. Add the garlic, water, beef base (or bouillon), and bay leaf to the pot. The meat should be mostly covered by the water, but it doesn’t need to be submerged.
Cover the pot and simmer the beef in the water for one hour. Don’t open the pan or sneak a peek during this time. You want to keep all the moisture in the pan, and removing the lid helps it to escape.
Add the veggies. After one hour, add the remaining ingredients to the pot and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for about 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and allow the soup to simmer for another 30 minutes.
FAQS and tips for making beef barley soup
I use quick barley for this soup recipe, which you don’t need to soak and comes par-steamed so the cook time is much faster. If you have traditional pearled barley, you will need to cook it for a bit long, about 20 – 30 extra minutes, and you may need to adjust your water volume.
I like to use beef stew meat for soup, but you can also cut up a chuck roast. If you prefer to use a different cut of meat that’s fine, just make sure it’s a fattier meat that needs to be slowly cooked or you will risk having tough, chewy beef in your stew.
The easiest way to add flavor to soup is to simply add salt or bouillon, but the addition of onion, garlic, celery and even carrot is a great flavor base for soup.
More beef recipes:
- Guinness braised beef
- Slow cooker beef ragu recipe
- Grilled beef satay with peanut sauce
- Slow cooker beef tacos
More soup recipes you’ll love:Print
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons beef base (or 2 bouillon cubes)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup quick-cooking barley (uncooked)
- 1 12-ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil to medium-high. Add stew meat and brown.
- Once beef has browned, add garlic water, beef base, bay leaf, and salt & pepper.
- Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer for 1 hour.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Adjust seasonings, if needed.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 218
- Sugar: 4 g
- Sodium: 1100.1 mg
- Fat: 5 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 26.9 g
- Fiber: 3.1 g
- Protein: 16.9 g
- Cholesterol: 37.5 mg
Published: October 30, 2017. Updated: November 4, 2021.
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