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Beef Barley soup is a classic comfort dish, boasting hearty flavors and wholesome ingredients. This recipe combines the richness of tender chuck roast, the earthiness of barley, and the freshness of vegetables for a satisfying bowl that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re seeking warmth on a chilly evening or a nourishing meal to feed a crowd, this soup delivers.


For the Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2-3 lbs chuck roast
  • 2 carrots, sliced in thin rounds
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thin
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 6 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2/3 cup medium barley
  • 1 can corn, drained (14.5 ounces)


  1. Prepare the Ingredients:
  • Heat vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat.
  • Add the chuck roast and sear until browned on all sides. Remove the beef to a plate.
  1. Sauté Vegetables:
  • Add carrots, celery, and onion to the pot and cook for 4-5 minutes until slightly softened.
  • Stir in crushed garlic, dried parsley, oregano, and thyme, and cook for an additional minute.
  1. Simmer the Soup:
  • Return the seared beef to the pot. Pour in beef broth, diced tomatoes, and add the bay leaf.
  • Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the roast is fork-tender.
  1. Add Barley and Corn:
  • Stir in barley and drained corn. Cover and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and continue simmering for 15 minutes until barley is tender.
  1. Finish and Serve:
  • Remove the roast from the pot and trim away any excess fat or gristle. Cut or shred the beef into bite-size chunks and return to the pot.
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  • Choose Chuck Roast: For the best flavor and tenderness, opt for chuck roast over other cuts of beef.
  • Sear the Beef: Searing the beef before simmering adds depth of flavor to the soup.
  • Peel Carrots for Presentation: If serving for company, peel the carrots for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
  • Use Low-Sodium Broth: To control the seasoning, use low-sodium beef broth.
  • Add Seasonings to Taste: Customize the flavor by adding cracked pepper or Cajun seasoning according to your preference.
  • Avoid Overcooking Barley: Be mindful not to overcook the barley to prevent it from becoming mushy.


1. Can I use a different cut of beef?

  • While chuck roast is recommended for its flavor and tenderness, you can substitute with other cuts suitable for slow cooking, such as brisket or round roast. Adjust cooking times as needed.

2. Can I make this soup ahead of time?

  • Yes, this soup reheats well and can be made ahead of time. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.

3. Can I omit the corn or substitute it with another vegetable?

  • Absolutely! Feel free to customize the soup by omitting the corn or substituting it with peas, green beans, or any other vegetable of your choice.

4. Can I use quick-cooking barley instead of medium barley?

  • Quick-cooking barley has a shorter cooking time and may become mushy if simmered for too long. If using quick-cooking barley, adjust the cooking time accordingly and add it towards the end of the cooking process.