Hearty Grain Beef Barley Soup
Rich with Fork-Tender Beef and Hearty Grains of Pearled Barley

Hearty Grain Beef Barley Soup

A classic beef barley soup rich with fork-tender beef and hearty grains of pearled barley in a soothing, cognac-colored beef stock.

Barley has been enjoyed by the world for centuries. In addition to its good taste and pleasing texture, its high fiber and low calories make it a smart addition to a healthy diet.

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Ingredients for Hearty Grain Beef Barley Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1-1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into even bite-sized pieces

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

8 cups beef stock, homemade preferred (beef stock recipe)

1 bay leaf

1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped

5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

5 tablespoons tomato paste

1 can diced tomatoes, 14.5 ounces, undrained

2/3 cup barley, medium pearled

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 cup cut green beans, frozen

1 cup yellow corn, frozen

4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only


Directions for Hearty Grain Beef Barley Soup

1. In a Dutch oven, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat until oil is shimmering.

2. Brown beef in 3 batches; add just enough stew meat to almost cover bottom of pot and sprinkle each batch with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

3. Sear, developing a nicely browned crust on each side before turning; brown all sides. Transfer browned meat to a plate and repeat with the next batch.

4. When searing is complete, place all browned meat in Dutch oven; add beef stock and bay leaf. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover pot loosely with lid.

5. Cook for 1-1/2 hours.

6. Add and simmer - Add onions, garlic, black pepper, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and barley. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

7. Add and simmer - Add potatoes, green beans, corn, and thyme leaves. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables and barley are tender.

8. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving.

9. Season with salt to taste.

Serves 4-6 

Experience Barley 
A Grain Enjoyed by the World for Centuries

Barley, which dates back to the Stone Age, is one of the world’s oldest cultivated grains. Although similar in appearance and often confused with wheat berries, a closer look reveals distinguishing differences.

Pearled Barley

  • Barley has a thick, inedible protective layer which wheat does not. The removal of this husk sparks additional differences between the two grains.(Some varieties of barley are hull-less.)
  • A milling process called "pearling" is used to remove the tough hull and portions of the bran. The deep crease of the barley grain is also eliminated as the surface is polished.
  • Pearled barley is available in three sizes - coarse, medium, and fine.  (Fine pearled barley, the most refined, loses roughly 1/3 of its initial weight in the process)
  • Fine pearled barley, the most refined, loses roughly 1/3 of its initial weight in the process.
  • Barley has a delicious, nutty flavor and a springy texture. These differences in taste and chewiness make it a delightful and beloved ingredient in dishes around the world.   

Barley doesn't just taste good, it also offers many nutritional benefits to support a healthy lifestyle.

For more thick and hearty beef soup recipes - click here. And try these too...


"Barley Basics." Agriculture Research - Ag Research | Montana State University. Accessed February 22, 2016. http://agresearch.montana.edu/wtarc/producerinfo/agronomy-nutrient-management/Barley/BarleyBasics.pdf.

McGee, Harold. "Seeds: Grains, Legumes, and Nuts." In On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, 451-514. New York: Scribner, 2004.

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