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Hearty Oxtail Soup


  • 2 pounds oxtails or meaty beef shanks
  • 1-1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup sliced leeks
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 4 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 cup medium pearl barley
  • Chopped fresh parsley


  • 1. In a stockpot, saute the oxtails, carrots, onion, celery, leeks and green pepper in butter until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the tomatoes, bouillon, seasonings and water. Bring to a boil. Skim off any foam. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender.
  • 2. Stir in barley; cover and continue to simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Add additional water if necessary.
  • 3. Remove oxtails; set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bones; discard bones and cut meat into cubes. Return meat to soup. Garnish with parsley.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 102 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 15mg cholesterol, 218mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 2g fiber), 6g protein.


Average Rating:
  • Cathy
    Jan 28, 2018

    I don't have a pot big enough for 6 quarts of water and think the recipe had a typo. I used 6 cups. I cut down on the barley but overall it was a good soup that I will make again.

  • CathyCookie
    Mar 29, 2015

    Recipe sounds good except for the fact that one cup of barley swells up to almost 6 FULL CUPS! Be careful of this... but I do like my soup barley FULLY cooked. (Retired professional cook) Will try this tonight and let the barley and oxtails simmer overnight, remove bones tomorrow, any of your favourite veggies can go into the soup closer to serving time. I love long simmered bone broths. I highly recommend McCormick's boullion cubes as no MSG. 3 star rating in order not to exaggerate or diminish as I have not made this recipe yet.

  • romeejuliet
    Jan 22, 2015

    Awesome recipe. I added more seasonings b/c I doubled the recipe.

  • everlandfarm
    Oct 26, 2014

    Using 2 cans beef broth instead of bouillon cubes and a mere 2 cups of water to begin with with a clove of garlic (crushed) instead of garlic powder - also increased the amount of chopped onion instead of using onion powder. Will see how it tastes halfway through the simmering and will add more beef broth (better if I had stock) and S&P if necessary - before I add the barley and cover it up again.

  • trudypost
    Jun 24, 2011

    I decrease the water to 4 quarts,add more bouiilon cubes and,and measure the salt(1-2tsp) When I made it as stated it was too bland.

  • jheinlen
    Jun 16, 2011

    This is a great soup with good flavor! Lots of good comments from the family. It is easy to make you just need to let it simmer for 3-4 hours and take out the bones...that's the hardest part. Also, it is very economical especially if you buy your beef in bulk (1/4, 1/2 or whole cow) as you don't have to pay extra for this at the store. I just tell the butcher I want the oxtail when I have the beef processed. Make for dinner and freeze the rest.

  • svpeds
    Nov 17, 2009

    easy to make good flavor

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