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Thick and Hearty Beef Barley Soup

Updated on February 7, 2015

Thick and Hearty Beef Barley Soup

I have been making this soup for about the last 15 years or so. I started making it for my uncle who was elderly and mostly sick and couldn't eat much, but this was his favorite thing to eat. Now my husband loves it too. Especially good on these cold snowy days or any day actually.

It's so hearty you don't even need anything to accompany it. There are a lot of other recipes for barley soup and I'm sure they are all good but when I find something that works and is really good, I usually stick with it. So this is my version of Thick and Hearty Beef Barley Soup.

Photos of beef barley soup

Ready to eat
Ready to eat | Source
chopped vegetables
chopped vegetables | Source

Please Vote

5 stars from 3 ratings of Thick and Hardy Beef Barley Soup

About the ingredients.

  • No need to add salt, the chicken broth has salt in it and also the beef cubes. I like salt but adding salt to this recipe will make it too salty.
  • Do use the fat free broth, it makes the soup clearer and you don't get that greasy taste.
  • No need to use any beef other then regular soup meat, it's cut just for any soup.

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
Yields: Serves at least 8 people


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. bone in beef soup meat
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 (3lb. 1 1/2oz.) can fat free chicken broth
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 3 cubes beef bullion cubes
  • to taste black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 4 cups water


  1. Prepare and chop your vegetables. Heat a large soup pot with the olive oil.
  2. Cook the vegetables in the pot over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the chicken broth, water, meat, barley, pepper, beef cubes and pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and simmer, stirring occasionally, for an hour. Do not cover.
  5. As the barley cooks, the soup will thicken. The soup is done when the barley is cooked.
  6. Remove the beef and chop it up in very small pieces and add it back to the soup. Serve hot and refrigerate the left overs. Enjoy!


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    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I need to try this. My boyfriend loves the beef and barley soup from the can. This will be SO much better! Pinning to my soup board!

    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      4 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Thank you so much Melissa. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did over the years. Especially with this freezing winter season, soup is extra good.

      Blessings to you.

    • melissae1963 profile image

      Melissa Reese Etheridge 

      4 years ago from Tennessee, United States

      Yummy Rachel. I will make this soup this weekend and share with my mom and mother-in-law. I might make a second batch and share with my fellow teachers. Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      4 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      LOL Thanks for the correction, Carb Diva. I'll have to remember that for the next time I try to use it.


    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      4 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Sounds very good, but I think the word you want in the title and throughout is "hearty", not "hardy".

    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      4 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Thanks Peggy, I appreciate your comment and stopping by.

      Blessings to you.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I love making homemade soups and we just had a beef soup today. Barley is wonderful in soups such as this. Up votes!

    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      4 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Thanks Susan, I'm glad you stopped by and checked out my hubs.

      Blessings to you.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Sounds like a soup that my family and I would really enjoy!

    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      4 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Thank you Pat. I'm glad you liked the recipe. Hope you do enjoy it.

      Blessings to you.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Soup is a favorite food of mine. This is so full of texture and no doubt lovely flavors I know I will enjoy it.

      Thanks for sharing

      Pinning Shared g+

      Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps


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