Beef & Barley Soup Yet Another Way to Enjoy a Superfood

Beef and Barley Soup

Beef and Barley Soup

Remember how excited I was to make my Grandma’s Junk a few weeks ago? Not only was the junk delicious, but it also piqued my interest in barley as a superfood and got me thinking about other ways to use this incredibly nutritious grain.

Enter beef and barley soup. This was simple to make, again a one-pot dish, and was so incredibly filling with all the vegetables and barley that it could easily be dinner all on its own.

Look how hearty the soup is!

Look how hearty the soup is!

The recipe is pretty basic: sweat the vegetables (onion, celery, carrot, mushroom) in a bit of olive oil. Add diced beef, then barley, broth and seasonings, and let simmer. But there’s a suprise ingredient that elevates this version over all others by adding tremendous depth of flavor: soy sauce. It may sound like a strange choice for a classic soup but you’ve got to trust me on this, it works.

Beef & Barley Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

4 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and diced

1 pound beef, cut into small bite-sized pieces

1 cup pearled barley

28 ounces low-sodium beef broth

2 to 3 cups water

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

Pinch salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the vegetables and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 8 minutes.

Sweat vegetables Diced beef

Clear an opening in the center of the pot (push the vegetables to the sides) and add the beef. Sear for 1 minute, then stir in the barley and cook for an additional minute.

Mix vegetables with beef and barley Pour broth

Pour in the beef broth and water and add the thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high until the liquid just begins to boil, then decrease the heat and simmer uncovered until the barley is tender, about 1 hour. Turn off the heat and stir in the soy sauce; season to taste.

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  • kpoplin posted: 11 Mar at 11:45 am

    I love beef and barley soup! I had no idea till I made it that barley was so healthy. I used a recipe from New England Soup Factory, my favorite soup cookbook ever. Have you seen that one? Your recipe looks great too, thanks for sharing :)

  • Jackie posted: 11 Mar at 8:53 pm

    Kpoplin – I haven’t tried the New England recipe but will look for it next time I make it. Thanks for the feedback! Jackie


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