Make-Ahead Beef Barley Soup Recipe
Make-Ahead Beef Barley Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Make-Ahead Beef Barley Soup Recipe

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"This satisfying soup is wonderful for a busy day when you want something hot in a hurry," assures Lisa Ortis of Drain, Oregon. "It makes a hearty meal with warm bread and a green salad."
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 40 min.
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 40 min.
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) beef broth
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 198 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 37mg cholesterol, 548mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 4g fiber), 16g protein.


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, onions and celery over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the water and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add barley; cover and simmer for 10-20 minutes or until barley is tender.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients; heat through. Transfer to three 1-qt. freezer containers; cool. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months.
  3. To use frozen soup: Thaw in the refrigerator. Place in a saucepan and heat through. Yield: 3 batches (4 servings each).
Originally published as Beef Barley Soup in Quick Cooking March/April 2002, p62

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poppadude User ID: 8368591 227277
Reviewed Jun. 1, 2015

"Great soup !!!!"

TheDix User ID: 607421 219108
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2015

"Very good! Nice flavor, though I think it would be improved with additional vegetables and seasoning. I added corn to mine. I think this soup will be improved by freezing and reheating. This goes together easily and tastes good on cool evenings."

mrsvette User ID: 834250 34416
Reviewed Jan. 19, 2012

"quick and easy soup and also inexpensive.

Next time will use a little less chop meat. Would also work with other veggies as well as I added some leftover corn and was very good.
Thanks for a delicious recipe!"

rac20585 User ID: 3289531 123855
Reviewed Sep. 17, 2011

"It isn't often that my husband goes nuts over soup, but with this one he asked for seconds AND asked if we could have it again the next night. I added a little pepper and topped it with french fried onions. Definitely a delicious, hearty soup and great for cooler weather! I am glad it is a big recipe because that gave me plenty left to freeze for later."

kendra ann User ID: 5432894 34547
Reviewed Sep. 14, 2011

"I love this soup its so easy to make and is loaded with so much flavor. All the farmers love it when I bring it to them on chilly days."

mother of 3 User ID: 1726536 34411
Reviewed Mar. 3, 2011

"Ooooh, wonderful. I halved the ingredients, omitted the celery, replacing with celery seed, and crockpot cooked it. Barley was soft in about 4 hours. Could use a little more basil to spark the flavor."

gonellya2 User ID: 1321365 54723
Reviewed Dec. 14, 2010

"It was good but i wouldn't make it again."

Bosox_MA User ID: 873283 54712
Reviewed Oct. 22, 2008

"If you like Beef Barley soup, this is truly the best and one of the most favorite recipes on this Board....

I am making this today and thought it should be posted once again for those that have not seen or tried it. Excellent. Thank you John again.


Subject: REC: crockpot Beef Barley soup
Posted by: M_Wolverine Replies: 22 Posted on: 9/20/2005 8:46:58 AM
crockpot Beef Barley soup

1 pound lean stew beef, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
3/4 cup barley
1 bay leaf
6 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
pepper, to taste

In crockpot, combine stew beef with onion, celery, carrots, barley, bay leaf, and beef broth. Cook beef and barley soup on LOW in crockpot for 6 to 8 hours. Taste and add salt and pepper, to taste.

PS This time I sauteed the meat first, added a couple of cloves of garlic and about 6 oz of mushrooms. But it is also great as written"

Minnesota Mama User ID: 3454601 34490
Reviewed Oct. 22, 2008

"This soup is a hearty one! My toddlers actually ate this soup. I thought, however, it lacked flavor. I am not sure how I would change it next time to make it more tasty. Not sure I'd make this again although it was nice to find a recipe to freeze."

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