One Pot Beef & Barley Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total time: about 2 hours
Servings: 6-8
Cuisine: American
Recipe Info

This is a quick and easy, old fashioned beef barley soup recipe, made with simple ingredients in one pot on the stovetop. A savory meal loaded with tasty seasonings, hearty vegetables, and tender beef.

2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Oil
2 pound Stew meat cubes, Or chuck roast (Trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch cubes)
1½ cup Onion, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced or diced
2 large carrots, sliced or diced (or the equivalent in sliced baby carrots)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper, To taste
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp Tomato paste
1 cup diced tomatoes, canned is fine
6 cups beef broth (up to 8 cups or more)
2-3 medium Potatoes, Peeled, Diced, Cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup Pearl barley
1-2 tbsp Fresh parsley, roughly chopped for garnish
2 bay leaves
2 springs fresh herbs thyme and rosemary suggested; or ½ teaspoon dried
Worcestershire sauce, a few splashes (optional for more flavor)

Pat beef cubes dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat butter, and oil in a large nonstick pot, over medium high heat. Add the beef cubes and sear/brown on all sides. Remove beef and set aside. Add more oil if needed in the same pot and sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until softened (about 4 or 5 minutes). Then, sauté garlic, and Italian seasoning until fragrant, for another minute. Add tomato paste, 2 cups of broth, scraping up the flavorful bits from the bottom. Add the diced tomatoes, 4 cups of beef broth, barley, bay leaves, and thyme/rosemary—season, with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Mix in beef cubes, potatoes, celery, carrots, barley. Cover and let it simmer for about 1-1.5 hours. Add more broth as needed, if the barley absorbs too much liquid. You want a thick soup, not dry. Then, cook uncovered for a few more minutes on high heat, to reduce liquid until soup thickens, to your desired consistency. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!

Note 1: Searing the meat provides a lot of flavor in the soup, so take advantage of this. Also, some of the most recommended cuts for beef barley soup include chuck roast or shoulder, stew meat, round or rump roast, or brisket.
Note 2: Start with less broth, but add more depending on how thick you like your soup. Also, the leftover soup will thicken as the barley absorbs the liquid. If you are making this ahead, we recommend cooking the barley separately, undercooking the barley, or having more beef stock on hand to thin the soup.
Note 3: If you use rosemary, it is suggested you use only a small sprig as it is potent.

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