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Bacon, Beef and Barley Soup

With a medley of barley, beef and vegetables, this thick, stew-like soup is brimming with flavor and texture. Every spoonful will warm you from head to toe on cold winter evenings.—Rachel Kohnen, Pomeroy, Iowa
  • Total Time
    Prep: 50 min. Cook : 2 hours
  • Makes
    8 servings (2-1/2 quarts)


  • 4 bacon strips, diced
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 pound sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup dry red wine or beef broth
  • 8 cups beef broth, divided
  • 4 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 4 fresh thyme sprigs, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup medium pearl barley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels. Brown beef in drippings. Remove and set aside.
  • In the same pan, saute the onions, carrots and mushrooms until tender. Add wine, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in 4 cups broth, mustard, thyme, bay leaf and beef. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until beef is tender.
  • Stir in the barley, salt, pepper and remaining broth. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until barley is tender. Discard bay leaf. Stir in bacon.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/4 cups: 381 calories, 14g fat (5g saturated fat), 78mg cholesterol, 1164mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 6g fiber), 29g protein.

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  • Ellen
    Sep 23, 2017

    Best beef based soup I have ever made! I even made the mistake of adding the barley with the beef instead of the last hour. It turned out great. I served it in bread bowls from my local bakery and took them up a bowl to try. I may have to add a bit more beef broth when I reheat the leftovers because the barley really thickened it up a lot.

  • gina.kapfhamer
    May 25, 2017

    Of all the soups I love, beef and barley holds a special place in my heart. This recipe was perfect! (Though I did use slightly less onion, since I only had one handy - still turned out great!)

  • partnersincooking
    Jun 9, 2014

    This is a very hearty soup. The bacon adds a complimentary taste to this dish. The specific mustard listed was also a tasty addition.