Go Back
+ servings
close up shot of beef barley soup with a spoon
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Healthier Beef & Barley Soup

Beef and barley soup is thick, hearty, and full of umami and rich beef flavor. The perfect soup to cozy up with on a colder day, it tastes even better on day 2!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 198kcal


  • 2 tablespoons butter salted or unsalted
  • 1 lb stewing beef trim into ¾ inch cubes
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 carrots chopped into small (½ inch) pieces
  • 2 ribs celery chopped into small (½ inch) pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • ½ cup pearl barley see note 1


  • Sauté beef- Melt butter over medium heat in a large (4 quart or larger; this makes a big batch and a small pot is not recommended) pot. Add beef cubes, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until browned all over.
    sauteeing beef in a blue pot
  • Add worcestershire- Drizzle worcestershire sauce all over the beef; toss to coat and simmer for one minute.
    worcestershire sauce held over beef barley soup
  • Add vegetables- Next, add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-10 minutes, until softened.
    onions, celery and carrot added to beef in a pot
  • Add other ingredients- Add the bay leaf, salt, pepper, thyme leaves, beef stock and barley to the pot. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for one hour, or until barley is cooked through.
    simmering pot of beef barley soup on burner
  • Finishing touches- Remove the bay leaf, and taste. Adjust salt as needed. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread, and enjoy!
    close up shot of beef barley soup with a spoon



1- if you'd like to make this soup gluten-free, swap the barley for quinoa (add it in during the last 20 minutes of cook time). Also be sure you can find a certified gluten-free worcestershire sauce!
  • fridge- store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days
  • freezer- portion out into freezer- safe jars, souper cubes, or other containers. Cool completely before freezing. This soup may be frozen for up to 6 months.
Thaw in the fridge for 24-48 hours, you can speed this process by allowing it to sit in a bowl of cold water for several hours.
Heat individual portions in the microwave until steaming hot; reheat larger portions in a pot on the stove at medium heat. Stir occasionally, and cook for 15- 20 minutes, until steaming hot.


Serving: 1/8 of batch | Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 864mg | Potassium: 793mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2690IU | Vitamin C: 3.6mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2.4mg