Can I offer you a warm bowl of Beef and Barley Vegetable Soup? I recently made this soup on a rare cold and dreary day here in sunny Arizona. It was the perfect day for staying home and doing little things around the house while the pot simmered away on the stovetop.
I’m seeing the word “instant” floating around the food blog world lately. I’m all for convenience and little shortcuts here and there, but slowly building flavor in a pot of soup is something I really enjoy. Searing the meat to a deep golden brown, sautéing roughly chopped veggies in oil and watching them soften and sweat, giving dried herbs time to steep and flavors to mingle… there’s nothing instant about it, and I’m okay with that!
Some things are just worth the wait.
If you have homemade beef broth on hand, this is surely the time to use it! But if not, the Better Than Bullion Beef base is the next best thing I’ve found to homemade broth. I love that you can keep it in the fridge and just add water. Look for it at Costco.
I’m actually not sure if this recipe would be considered a soup or a stew. I tend to make all my soups on the thicker side, with lots of chunky goodness and roughly chopped veggies. If the potatoes and carrots aren’t cut too small, they hold up better to the long slow simmer this soup needs to make that beef tender.
This Beef and Barley Vegetable Soup is hearty and flavorful and tastes so very good on a cold day. Serve it with warm, crusty bread and soft butter. Gather your family and friends around and talk about your day. Then go back for seconds and linger around the table some more. Good for body and soul!
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #lovelylittlekitchen
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- 2 1/2 pounds chuck roast
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cups peeled, chopped carrots
- salt and pepper
- 7 cups water*
- 2 cups peeled, chopped potatoes
- 2 tablespoons beef base (I use Better Than Bullion)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/2 cup quick cooking barley**
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup half and half
- Cut meat into 3 inch chunks and trim fat. Season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat. When oil is hot, sear meat 2-3 minutes per side, working in batches so the pan is not over crowded. In order to get that golden brown crust, don’t move the meat round in the pan as it cooks. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside. Clean pot if needed.
- In the same pot, heat another tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add onions and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and cook 3-4 minutes or until translucent and softened. Add water, potatoes, beef base, tomato paste, sugar, bay leaves, thyme and oregano and stir over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, add meat back to the pot, cover and turn heat to low. Simmer about 3 hours, stirring now and then, until the beef is tender and falls apart easily.
- Remove the beef from the pot and break into bite sized pieces, then add it back to the pot. Add barley and peas. Gently boil for 15 minutes or until barley is tender. Remove bay leaves and stir in half and half, and taste – add salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve with warm crusty bread. I think this soup tastes even better the next day. Sometimes I’ll add another cup of beef broth (using the Better Than Bullion Base) to thin the soup the second day as the barley will absorb some of the broth.
*You can also use homemade or store-bought beef broth or stock and omit the water and beef base in the recipe.
**Regular barley can be used as well, it will just take a little longer to cook.
- Serving Size: 1 Serving
- Calories: 649
- Sugar: 8g
- Sodium: 1000mg
- Fat: 36g
- Saturated Fat: 14g
- Unsaturated Fat: 20.4g
- Trans Fat: 1.8g
- Carbohydrates: 30g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 52g
- Cholesterol: 167mg