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Potato-Beef Barley Soup

I originally got this recipe off of the Kathie Lee and Regis show about 14 years ago. It quickly became a family favorite and through the years I have changed the recipe a bit. Tastes wonderful with a warm crusty bread. I have added a can of corn for variety. Also, red or yellow peppers can be used with green to add beautiful color.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. Cook: 30 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings (4 quarts)


  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 package (32 ounces) frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen cut green beans
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking barley


  • In a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray, cook beef and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • Stir in the water, potatoes, tomatoes, soy sauce, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Return to a boil; stir in beans and barley. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until beans and barley are tender. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/3 cups: 217 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 35mg cholesterol, 568mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 5g fiber), 16g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable.

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  • Cook_aholic
    Jun 14, 2013

    This is the first review I have ever written where I could almost say "see other reviews" but I made the soup in almost the same manner they did. I used turkey instead of ground beef, skipped the salt in everything, including adding canned tomatoes with no-salt added. I added extra barley and not too many potatoes. I did also add 1/2 c frozen peas because I'm always sneaking in more veggies and I served each bowl with a dollop of sour cream in the middle. It was great.

  • bjsilve0
    Feb 26, 2013

    Have many beef barley soup recipes but with the addition of the potato, I just had to try it. It is now a favorite that we will make often. It is just wonderful!!!

  • kaelinhrse
    Jan 1, 2013

    I have made this soup several times. I am a former soup-hater, but this has reformed my tastes. I use ground turkey instead of the beef and add extra barley at my husband's request. This soup is also guest-approved and I wouldn't hesitate to serve it to company again.

  • bizzyb
    Oct 14, 2012

    I made this as directed (except my pepper was red because we like them better, and skipped the salt in everything), and it was really good. The only change I will make is to use half the potatoes and twice the barley.