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Chunky Beef-Barley Soup

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A spoon in a bowl of beef barley soup.

I took inventory of the soup in the freezer and discovered we are down to only two cartons of soup… was French onion soup and the other was a smokey split-pea.  I also found a beef chuck roast that is getting a bit of a freezer burn but I’m using it anyway to make this nice batch of chunky beef-barley soup. 

Soup is good at our house any season, any time, any meal!  Usually I make a big huge pot of soup that will fill about a dozen three-cup plastic freezer containers.  I’m sure you don’t plan to make that big of a batch so I broke the recipe down to serve eight to ten hungry soup lovers.    

This chunky beef-barley soup is very thick and hearty and filled with nutrition. We ate it for dinner tonight, and it was soooo good.  It is full of big chunks of beef, carrots, celery, mushrooms and tomatoes with pear barley that thickens it up nicely.   We added a slice of thick, seed-crusted, multi-grain bread from the Costco bakery and a glass of Don’s home-crafted merlot red wine.  Perfect!

Overhead photo of beef barley soup in a bowl.
Individual ingredients needed for beef barley soup.
A serving of beef barley soup with a glass of wine and a slice of bread.


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A spoon in a bowl of beef barley soup.

Chunky Beef-Barley Soup

Chunky beef-barley soup, hearty, healthy and delicious. Large chunks of beef and vegetables, and thickened up with pearl barley. This is a one-pot meal, serve with crusty mulit-grain bread.
4.78 from 9 votes
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Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 to 12 servings
Calories: 428kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger


  • 2-3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil for browning the beef
  • 2 or 3 pounds boneless chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (see notes)
  • 1 large onions chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup celery cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups carrots cut into large 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces small whole white mushrooms cut in half
  • 4 cans 14 ounces each beef broth
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cans 14 ounces each diced tomatoes
  • 1 can 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs of your choice….I used parsley thyme, rosemary and sage
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the beef chunks, working in batches. Remove each batch as it browns and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any oil.
  • Add the onions, garlic, celery, carrots and mushrooms to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the browned beef back to the pot and add the beef broth, wine and tomatoes.
  • In a small dish, mix the tomato paste with 1 cup of water, stir to combine it well and add it to the soup pot. Add the pearl barley, chopped herbs, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 2 hours.
  • When ready to serve, remove and discard the bay leaves and ladle the soup into serving bowls.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 428kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 424mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g

This recipe for beef barley soup was originally published on May 18, 2015. The photos have been updated.

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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Recipe Rating


Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

Hi! Question: I came here from the slow cooker recipe. In the slow cooker recipe you have 2 cans diced tomatoes. This recipe has only 1. Might that be a typo (indicates "each" in the parentheses)? I prefer to cook this in a dutch oven (I can control the temp better than in my old crock pot.

Pat Nyswonger

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

Hi, are correct, it should be 2 cans of tomatoes....thanks so much for the catch on the typo. I made the correction in the recipe card. Enjoy the soup!

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