Hearty Beef and Barley Soup

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours


9 servings (2-1/4 quarts)

Updated: Oct. 07, 2023
This hearty beef barley soup is a favorite menu item in our house throughout the year. Everyone savors the flavor. —Elizabeth Kendall, Carolina Beach, North Carolina


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound beef top round steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup medium pearl barley
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cup frozen peas


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Brown beef on all sides; drain. Stir in broth, water, barley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Add carrots, celery, onion and parsley; cover and simmer until meat and vegetables are tender, 30-40 minutes. Stir in peas; heat through.
Beef Barley Soup Tips

Can you use other cuts of beef to make Beef Barley Soup?

This recipe is very forgiving, so you can make a number of substitutions. Our guide to beef breaks down what other cuts of beef you can use besides top round steak. If you want to swap out the barley, replace it with farro, another ancient grain, or wild or brown rice.

How else can you cook Beef Barley Soup?

If you have a slow cooker, combine all the ingredients in it and let it cook on low until both the beef and barley are tender, about 4-5 hours. Have an Instant Pot? You can make it in that appliance, too, by following our guide.

How long will Beef Barley Soup last?

As with a lot of soups and stews, they seem to taste better the next day. Once your soup is done and cooled, transfer the soup to an airtight container or jar and refrigerate for up to 5 days. You may also freeze it for 9 months.

James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Culinary Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 133 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 28mg cholesterol, 859mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 2g fiber), 14g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.