Cozy up with a bowl of healthier beef barley soup. Packed full of flavor and so hearty! Under 200 calories per bowl.
When Kai was born, my mom stocked up our freezer with the most delicious, cozy hearty recipes: butter chicken, chicken cacciatore, and beef barley soup. Those recipes really kept us going during that crazy newborn stage!
It’s really been awhile since I had a nice bowl of beef and barley soup, and I thought it was time to get a recipe on the blog!
This soup recipe is packed full of hearty beef and barley, but also carrots, celery and the most delicious broth. Sometimes beef and barley soup can end up more like a stew, but for this recipe I wanted to make sure there was plenty of delicious broth!
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We love this beef barley soup because
- it is hearty and comforting, but still packed with healthy ingredients
- it is freezer-friendly
- the beef ends up so tender and the barley has a nice chewy texture to it
How to make beef and barley soup
This beef and barley soup is really easy to make, but it requires a long simmer time (at least 1 hour) to get the beef nice and tender.
- sautee beef in some butter until it is browned all over
- add the carrots, celery and onions and cook for a few more minutes
- add all remaining ingredients (garlic, worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, thyme leaves, salt, pepper, barley and stock)
- cover and simmer for one hour
- serve and enjoy!
What kind of beef should I use in this beef and barley soup recipe? I used a cheap cut of stewing beef, which is why the recipe calls for a long simmering time. Beef barley soup is the perfect opportunity to use the cheaper cuts of beef, which require long cook times to get them nice and tender.
Is beef barley soup recipe freezer-friendly? Sure is! The barley will get softer after freezing, but it’s still delicious! This beef barley soup also keeps in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Is soup gluten-free? Since barley has gluten, this soup is not gluten-free. You could swap for quinoa (add it in during the last 20 minutes of cook time) for a gluten-free beef barley soup. Also be sure you can find a certified gluten-free worcestershire sauce!
Tips & equipment for beef barley soup
- I used my 4L Paderno pot (similar to this one)
- here’s my favorite chef’s knife that made chopping a breeze (I wish I had bought a good one sooner!)
- looking for more soup recipes? Check out this Healthy Broccoli Cheese Soup, this Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup, and this Butternut Squash Soup Recipe, or check out these 36+ Healthy Soup Recipes
Healthier Beef & Barley Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter (I used salted)
- 1 lb stewing beef (cut into 1 inch cubes)
- salt & pepper
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 onion diced
- 6 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 carrots (chopped into 1/2 inch pieces)
- 2 ribs celery (chopped into 1/2 inch pieces)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 8 cups beef stock
- 1/2 cup barley
- In a 4 quart or larger pot, heat butter over medium heat.
- Add the beef cubes, season with salt & pepper, and cook for 5 or so minutes, until browned all over.
- Add the worcestershire sauce and toss the beef to coat.
- Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook for another 5 or so minutes, until onions soft.
- Add all remaining ingredients, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, or until beef is soft and barley is cooked through.
- This soup keeps in the fridge for up to four days or the freezer for up to 3 months.