Beef and Barley Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard powder (optional)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1½ lb lean beef stewing meat, cut into cubes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 large celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups reduced sodium beef or chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or ¼ tsp dried thyme)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • ¾ cup dry pearl barley
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  1. In a large bowl, stir together salt, pepper, mustard powder (if using) and flour.
  2. Add the beef cubes and mix until all the meat is coated with the flour.
  3. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat 2 tbsp of the oil over a medium-high heat.
  4. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides (about 6 minutes).
  5. Remove the beef and leave to cool.
  6. Once cool, cut into smaller cubes and set aside.
  7. Meanwhile, heat the last tbsp of oil in the Dutch oven over a medium heat, add the onions, celery, and carrots, and cook gently for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  9. Remove the vegetables from the pot and set aside.
  10. Put the tomato paste into the pot over a low heat and cook for 2 minutes, stirring well.
  11. Add the beef, balsamic vinegar, broth, bay leaves, and thyme and stir well. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1½ hours.
  12. After 1½ hours, add the barley, sautéed vegetables, and water, and cook for a further 45 minutes.
  13. Remove from the heat and take out the bay leaves and thyme (if you used fresh).
  14. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
  15. Stir in the parsley and serve with a side of crusty bread.
Recipe by The Wholesome Fork at