This soup is probably a rendition of the perfect soup.  This soup has rich bold beef flavor, complimented by subtle vegetables only to be kissed with the creamy richness of barley.  The beauty that hides behind the veil of this dish is that it is filling, flavorful and very healthful.  Barley is a great source of nutrition because it is a whole grain.  Unlike other whole grains it is tender yet rich, it offers a creamy like consistency when cooked in a soup.

Beef Barley Soup - Taste of Home

Ah such a delicious satisfying soup, Beef Barley soup is truly a taste of home.  Ah Beef its what is for dinner, certainly in this dish.  The importance of this dish is having a nice beef stock.  Beef stock while not difficult to make is challenging because you don’t often have beef bones available like you might for chicken, turkey or even fish.

Barley which is a member of the grass family, not the one that is becoming legal these days.  The grass family that you mow outside on your lawn.  This grain was used in large proportions centuries ago.  This is probably in large part because it can be dried and stored, then full of nutritional and practical elements. 

We commonly use a pearled barley for our uses in making soup or barley pilaf .  Pearled barley has been processed where the fibrous outer hull is removed of some or all of the bran layer.  This process is not much different from the process of making rice, or Separating wheat.

The Many Benefits of Beef Barley Soup

Barley is a very nutritious grain.  The amazing thing about barley is it is very palatable.  A vegetarian option to Beef Barley is mushroom barley soup, or mushroom barley pilaf, which is sauteed mushrooms and barley.  The many benefits of barley soup are the nutrition levels to start. 

Barley is loaded with nutrients such as zinc, phosphorous, manganese, magnesium, iron, vitamin b, niacin and loads of other.  While it has these many high daily values of nutrients, there are a number of other health benefits that it possesses.

Like other whole grains barley aids in digestion.  They act as a scrub brush on the inside removing excess buildup of impurity’s in the digestive tract.  There are a wide range of other things that barley assists with such as reducing blood pressure, providing healthy skin.

Overall the health factors listed here are minimal to the actual nutritional value that is provided through the consumption of barley.  None of this touches on the fact that soup is comforting and warming.  Just the eating of soup is more healthful because a light nutrient filled soup like beef barley will fill you and you will eat less calories.

Other benefits are the satisfaction of eating a delicious soup, when you make it from scratch you can share with those around you.

Making Beef Barley Soup From Scratch

Making Beef Barley soup from scratch is a simple set of tasks.  Simple and ease of preparation yet the outcome is so rewarding, beef stock seasoned with a selection of vegetables and touch of rosemary, the creamy barley fills the soul.  

Making beef barley soup from scratch you will start with your diced onions, celery and carrots and saute them in the bottom of a soup pot.  To this you will add your beef stock, add your pearl barley and simmer with the cover on for 60 - 90 minutes until the barley is tender.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.  adjust your seasonings and you  are ready to eat.

The beauty of cooking is the variations that you can make to completely change your dishes.  Beef barley could be vegetarian by exchanging the beef for mushrooms and the beef stock for vegetable stock.  This will change it but will make if very tasty as well.   You could use a blend of wild mushrooms, you could add butternut squash with the beef, diced.  Some other variations would be to make it chicken by substituting the beef with chicken and the stock for chicken. The barley itself could be added to almost any soup, however if you were to add it to a cream or thickened soup you would want to cook it in water or stock separately.  It will not cook properly in a cream or thickened soup.

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Beef Barley Soup

What a great hearty soup, and yes it is good for you.  Barley is a grain from the grass family.  
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
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Servings: 8
Calories: 239kcal


  • 3 quarts Beef Stock
  • 1 cup Barley, Pearled
  • 1 cup Celery washed, diced
  • 1 cup Onion peeled, diced
  • 1 cup Carrot peeled, diced
  • 1 cup Tomato, Diced fresh or canned
  • 2 oz. Tomato Paste optional
  • 1 cup Beef, Diced optional
  • 1 T Rosemary, dried or fresh chopped


  • Cook the Barley in the stock, it can be cooked separately, however, it adds flavor and provides starch that makes the soup have more texture when cooked in the stock, it will make the soup somewhat cloudy though
  • You can saute the vegetables separately or cook them right in the soup
  • Combine all ingredients in a stock pot
  • Add Rosemary, adjust the salt and pepper to taste, serve
Nutrition Facts
Beef Barley Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 239 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 19mg6%
Sodium 841mg37%
Potassium 1076mg31%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 2915IU58%
Vitamin C 7.4mg9%
Calcium 74mg7%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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