“The Best Beef Barley Soup” is a hearty, comforting soup known for its rich flavors and satisfying texture. The recipe typically starts with high-quality beef, often a chuck roast or similar cut, which is cut into bite-sized pieces. This beef is then browned to develop deep flavors, creating a savory base for the soup.

The next step involves sautéing a mirepoix, a classic combination of diced onions, carrots, and celery, in the same pot. This not only adds layers of flavor but also utilizes the fond, the caramelized bits left from browning the beef, enriching the soup’s taste.

Barley, a key ingredient, is added for its chewy texture and ability to absorb flavors. It’s a grain that swells as it cooks, thickening the soup and providing a unique mouthfeel. The choice of barley can vary, with pearl barley being a common option due to its quicker cooking time and smoother texture.

The broth is another critical component, with many recipes calling for beef stock or a combination of beef and chicken stock for a more complex flavor profile. The soup is seasoned with herbs like thyme and bay leaves, and sometimes a hint of garlic, bringing warmth and depth.

As the soup simmers, the ingredients meld together. The beef becomes tender, the vegetables soften, and the barley cooks through. Some variations might include additional vegetables like diced potatoes or parsnips, and a touch of tomato paste or diced tomatoes for a slight acidity, balancing the rich flavors.

The soup is often finished with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a crack of black pepper. It’s a dish that’s both nourishing and fulfilling, perfect for cold days. The flavors are even better when the soup is allowed to rest, making it an excellent option for leftovers or meal prep. The blend of tender beef, hearty barley, and aromatic vegetables creates a comforting bowl that epitomizes homestyle cooking.


2 Pounds Boneless Beef Chuck Roast, Trimmed and Cut Into 1 Inch Cubed
2 Tablespoons, Plus More As Needed Vegetable Oil
As Needed Salt
As Needed Black Pepper
1 Medium Onion, Diced
4-5 Large Carrots, Peeled and Diced
6 Large Cloves Garlic, Rough Chopped
16 Ounces Cremini Mushrooms, Trimmed and Quartered
1~~28 ounce Can Whole Tomatoes, Including Juice
1 Heaping Tablespoon Better than Bouillon~Beef Flavor, or 2 Large Bouillon Cubes
Beef Stock 64 Ounces
Fresh Thyme 4~6 Sprigs
Fresh Rosemary 1 Sprig
2 Dried Bay Leaves
3/4 Cup Pearl Barley
1 Cup Frozen Green Beans, Thawed and Well Drained
1/8 Teaspoon Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce


1. Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven, over medium high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the beef in batches and cook until well browned on all sides. Remove the browned meat to a plate and set aside. Continue with remaining beef, adding more oil as needed. Lower the heat through the browning process, as needed, if the meat or fond (little brown bits on the bottom of the pan) begin to burn.

2. Add onion and carrots to the pan, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits and cook over medium heat until they just begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms soften, another 4 minutes or so.

3. Return the browned beef, as well as any juices that have accumulated to the Dutch oven. Add 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the pan. Crush the whole tomatoes with your hand and add to the pan. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.

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