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The Best Beef and Barley Soup! This easy and hearty chuck roast soup recipe is loaded with rich beef flavor, pearl barley, and veggies! This rich and comforting soup is a cold weather favorite!

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Easy, hearty and soul-warming Beef and Barley Soup!

The richly satisfying, umami packed Beef and Barley Soup is easy to pull together any night you’re craving a big bowl of comforting, warming soup! Made with well browned chuck roast cubes, fresh herbs, garlic and pearl barley- this simple, yet incredibly flavored soup is always on my list for a cold winter night.

Beef and Barley Soup

What goes into the soup?

To make this easy and delicious Beef and Barley Soup, you will need:

  • Olive oil, for browning the chuck roast cubes, and cooking the veggies and herbs.
  • 1 lb chuck roast, cut into 1” pieces, excess fat trimmed.
  • Some flour, for coating the beef cubes.
  • Coarse kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, for seasoning the chuck roast.
  • 2 ribs of celery (preferably with leaves), finely diced.
  • A medium onion and 2 medium carrots, finely diced.
  • Tomato paste, for building more depth to the soup.
  • Fresh Oregano and Rosemary.
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced. 
  • Beef broth and water.
  • A bit of Tamari (or soy sauce) and Worcestershire sauce, for extra flavor and umami goodness. I prefer Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce, and I love the extra rich flavor of Tamari over soy sauce.
  • Pearl Barley. This will go in at the end of the cook time, once the meat is nice and tender.
browning the Chuck roast for the soup

Browning the Chuck roast for the soup

You’ll start the soup by browning the floured and seasoned chuck roast in your soup pot or Dutch oven first in a bit of olive oil. Brown the meat well on all sides in batches. Cooking in batches will ensure you don’t overcrowd the pan, and will encourage good browning. Transfer the meat to a plate as you go.

cooking the veggies for the soup

Cooking the soup


Once the meat is well browned and set aside, you’ll cook the celery, onion and carrot in the same pan, and collect the frond/browned bits from the bottom of the pan by gently scraping as you stir.

Building flavor

Next, you’ll add the fresh herbs, garlic and tomato paste. This will cook with the veggies for about 4 minutes, to deepen the flavor of the tomato paste and bloom the spices.

Simmering and tenderizing

Next, you’ll add the broth, water, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce, as well as the browned chuck roast cubes and accumulated juices.

Bring to a boil, cover the soup pot, then reduce heat and simmer on medium-low heat for 1 hour. This will not only meld all the delicious flavors- it will also allow the chuck roast to become fall-apart tender.

Cooking the barley

Once the beef is tender, you’ll add the pearl barley and cook for 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally so the barley doesn’t stick.

Tools to make the Beef and Barley soup

A 5 quart (or larger) dutch oven or soup/stock pot, with lid.

A sharp knife and cutting board.

A medium mixing bowl.

A good soup ladle and wooden spoon.

Substitutions and additions:

  • Instead of cubes of Chuck roast for the soup, you could also use stew beef, rump roast, or round roast.
  • If you like a chunkier soup, try doing larger pieces of carrots and celery.
  • Try dry herbs instead of fresh, just be sure to use about half the amount of dry to fresh so the flavor doesn’t overpower the soup.
  • Try hulled barley or farro instead of pearl barley. Pearl barley has lost its outer husk and its bran layer, and it has been polished. It tends to cook faster than hulled barley, so if using that type- up your cook time after adding the barley by 15-20 minutes. If using farro, adjust as well. Some types take about the same as pearl barley, while some “quick cooking” types cook in about 15 minutes.
  • Add some sliced mushrooms! Add these when you cook the carrots, onion and celery.
  • Try shallots or green onions instead of onion.

What to serve with the soup?

This hearty soup is great just as it is, or served alongside some crusty bread and butter. It’s also great with some garlic bread and a side salad.

This recipe is also a great make-ahead lunch idea. Just add a touch of water when reheating if needed. This soup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

More Soup Recipes

Hungry for more soup? Here are a few of my favorite soup recipes!

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Beef and Barley Soup

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Beef and Barley Soup

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Dinner, Soup
Keyword: barley, beef, soup
Servings: 6


  • 5 quart (or larger) Dutch oven, or soup pot


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb beef chuck roast, cut into 1” pieces , (excess fat trimmed and discarded) 
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper 
  • 2 ribs celery with leaves, finely diced 
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced 
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley 


  • 1. Heart olive oil in dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl, toss beef cubes with coarse salt, pepper and flour until well coated.
    3. Working in batches, add to pot and brown on all sides, 2-3 minutes a side.
    4. Transfer browned beef to a plate as you go.
    5. When all beef is browned, add celery, onion, and carrots to the pot, and reduce the heat to medium-low.
    6. Season the veggies with salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits from the pan, for 5-6 minutes.
    7. Add the tomato paste, garlic, oregano and rosemary, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    8. Add the beef broth, water, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce , and browned beef and accumulated juices.
    9. Turn heat to high, and bring to a boil.
    10. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium-low.
    11. Cover and simmer 1 hour.
    12. After 1 hours, add barley to the pot, and cook 30 minutes more, stirring occasionally so barley doesn’t stick.
    13. Once barley is cooked, serve hot!

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