beef and barley soup

Save Time with This Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup

As busy as the holidays are, I always feel that I’m scrambling so much more AFTER they’re all said and done. Work starts again, school starts again, and after school activities are back in full swing. Help! What’s a person to do?

Slow Cook EVERYTHING! Haha. Try this slow cooker beef and barley soup. This is a great plan ahead/freezer meal!

This is especially nice when it’s cold and snowy outside. It’s natural to want to eat something rich that will fill the belly with warmth and comfort. This crockpot beef and barley soup is perfect for cold and snowy days. The beef is soft and tender, and the veggies have dissolved in the soup, giving it thickness and texture. How nice it would be to curl up under a blanket with this soup in a bowl.

Visit the link below for the recipe.

This crockpot beef and barley soup is truly hearty. Aside from the tender beef that’s been stewing in the slow cooker for more than six hours on low, this soup also has barley, potatoes and carrots. It’s gently seasoned so your taste buds will be pleasantly soothed instead of zinged. This soup is truly perfect for cold days.


  • 2 pounds stew meat (nicely marbled beef chunks)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 mounded tablespoons good quality beef base*
  • 3 stalks celery (about 2 cups), chopped
  • 10 mushrooms quartered
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 large potato, peeled and shredded, about 2 cups
  • 3-4 large carrots, peeled and shredded, about 2 cups
  • 1 cup barley, rinsed


  1. Generously salt and pepper the beef. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. When it is very hot, add about 1/3 of the meat. Brown for about 1-2 minutes, then turn to brown the other side. Remove to a plate when it is browned on all sides.
  3. Repeat with remaining meat in 2 more batches. (If you add it all at once it will steam the meat instead of browning it–not what you want.)
  4. When all the meat is browned, add all the meat back to the pot with 10 cups of water. Add 3 healthy tablespoons beef stock concentrate.
  5. Add the herbs, chopped celery, onions, and garlic. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 2 hours with the lid on.
  6. When the meat is tender and you can break it apart easily with a wooden spoon, add the shredded potato and carrots. Bring to a boil, then continue to simmer on low for another 30-45 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
  7. Add 1 cup of barley. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low. Cook for another half hour, or until barley is tender and the soup tastes…like home.
Slow cooker instructions:
  1. In a large pan, brown the meat according to the instructions. Remove the browned meat to a large crockpot.
  2. Add 2 cups of the water to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir up all the browned bits. Add this and the remaining 8 cups of water to the crock pot.
  3. Add the beef base, herbs, celery, onions, and garlic to the slow cooker and stir.
  4. Cook on low for about 6 hours. Add the potatoes and carrots and mushrooms cook for another hour.
  5. Add the barley and simmer for another hour or so, until it is tender.

Photo source

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