Easy Beef Barley Soup

This super-easy recipe cooks up to an unctuous creamy almost-stew in a crock pot (the slow cooking really develops the barley’s creaminess); when done on the stove top it takes much less time and produces a soup  with more distinct vegetables, meat and grains. Either way, it is hearty, filling, satisfying and delicious.

  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • 1 quart Beef Broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2lbs Beef for Stew (or any beef from the chuck), cut in 1/2″ pieces
  • 8 oz Beef Bacon Chunks (optional, but recommended!)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper to taste

In the crock pot:
Combine all ingredients.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until beef is tender and barley is cooked.

On the stove:
Saute onions, celery, carrots in a large stock pot with a bit of olive oil until fragrant.  Add all remaining ingredients except the barley; simmer 1 1/2-2hrs on low until beef is tender.  Add barley, cook another 30 minutes or until barley is tender.

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