Beef and Barley Soup with Vegetables
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This is a wonderfully flavored Soup that is perfect for a cold nights dinner along with some crusty, buttered bread. Our Beef and Barley Soup with Vegetables recipe hits all the flavor notes you want from a Soup. It’s got a rich, beefy broth, its absolutely packed with Vegetables, and the beautiful Barley gives the dish a wonderful body and texture. What’s more, it’s unbelievably healthy for you and it’s so easy to make!

For this recipe we make our own Beef Broth from scratch, and it tastes amazing

The base of the Beef and Barley Soup is made by creating our own Beef Broth. It’s a very simple process but does take some time. In fact, the vast majority of the time preparing this dish is in the preparation of the Broth

To make a simple, yet delicious Beef Broth, place the Vegetables and Stewing Beef Bones on a large sheet pan. You can very roughly chop the vegetables. I like to cut them in half, and for the Onions, place them flesh-side-down on the pan. There is also no need to remove the skins, just keep them on

Drizzle the ingredients in the pan with Olive Oil and generously season with Salt (about 1 tbsp.). You then roast it all up in the oven at 400F for 30 minutes until everything has caramelized. Don’t worry if the Vegetables have gone a dark brown color, that charred flavor is exactly what we want to produce out of the ingredients in this step

Beef and Barley Soup with Vegetables quality ingredients
Getting the best result for this Beef and Barley Soup is all about building flavors with good quality ingredients

Time to build the Broth for our Beef and Barley Soup

The ingredients are all then transferred straight into the Pot to begin the process of making the Beef Broth. You add a load of water (about 10 cups) and bring it all to a Boil. Then, cover and reduce to a simmer and simply leave it alone for 2 hours. During this time, the liquid will be absorbing all that wonderful flavor from the Vegetables and Beef Bones

After two hours, you’re left with the most wonderfully flavored Broth. You want to remove the Beef Bones and Vegetables, then strain the broth to remove any bits and pieces. Discard the Vegetables but retain the Beef. There will still be plenty of meat on these Bones which we want to keep for the Soup

Once cooled, strip all the leftover meat from the Bones and set aside. Also keep any meat that has broken away during the cooking process in the broth. You want to keep as much of this as possible, as this will be the Beef portion of our Beef and Barley Soup with Vegetables

Beef Bones in Soup
The broth for this soup is flavored wonderfully from the Beef Bones, which are cooked for a total of 4 hours in the liquid

Making the Soup is now a simple process of adding the Vegetables and Barley to the Broth

Cut up the Vegetables for the Soup into small, even pieces and then add them straight into the Broth along with the Barley. You can also add the Beef Bones back into the broth. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat as low as possible

Cover, and simmer for 2 hours to let all those wonderful flavors develop. That’s all there is to it! After 2 hours the Soup will be ready to eat. Just remove those Beef Bones and the Stems from the Thyme before serving

What are the best Stewing Beef Bones to use for a Beef and Barley Soup?

There are a few cuts of Beef that we recommend using in this dish. You want to be picking Beef Bone that has a significant amount of Meat on it as the Beef serves two purposes in this dish. The Bones are needed to flavor the Beef Broth, and the Beef Meat is needed to add to the final Soup

Best cuts of Meat for Beef Soup
The best cuts of Meat to use for this recipe are either Beef Short Rib, Oxtail or Chuck

Therefore, our two preferred Cuts are either Oxtail or Beef Short Rib. Our main reasoning for this is they fulfil the above criteria of being quite meaty cuts of Beef Bones. The beef itself is ridiculously tasty, and benefits from being slowly cooked to tenderize

Now, if this recipe was written 10 years ago we’d tell you how affordable it is. However, in recent years both Beef Short Rib and Oxtail have skyrocketed in price, as people have started to realize just how tasty and amazing these cuts are. For a cheaper alternative, you should be able to find some cuts of Beef Chuck on the bone that will work well

Adding the Beef back into the Soup right before serving

You have a couple of options of how to prepare the meat. Either throw the pieces of Beef into the Pot to warm through right at the end before serving. Alternatively, you can give them a quick sear on a separate frying pan over high heat. Add them on top of the Soup before serving. This method will produce a slightly different texture for the Beef

Beef and Barley Soup with Vegetables in Season
Use your favorite Vegetable combinations for the best tasting Beef and Barley Soup with Vegetables

Mix up the Vegetable combination based on your preferences, and what is in season

For our Vegetable mix in this Beef and Barley Soup we’re opting for a combination of Onions, Leeks, Celery, Carrots, and Potatoes. This is a great combination of vegetables that all stand up extremely well to a long, slow cook in the Soup

Depending on what is in season in your local area, or simply your flavor profile you can mix up the ingredients. Parsnips are a great vegetable you can use, as is Sweet Potato. Either could be used in a combination, or as a substitute for Potato. We do recommend having a starchy Vegetable in there however, as it will add body to the Soup

Other great options for the Soup are Green Beans, Tomatoes, Peas, even Kale will work well. Try experimenting with a couple of different Vegetables to see which you like the most. Or just stick with our recipe as we guarantee you it tastes great!

Recipe Details


8 – 10 people

Prep time

10 minutes

Cooking time

4 hours

Total time

4 hours

Beef and Barley Soup with Vegetables Recipe


To make the Beef Broth

  • 4 lbs. Stewing Beef Bones (eg: Oxtail, Short Rib, Chuck)
  • 1 Brown Onion
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • 1 Carrot
  • 10 cups of Water
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt

For the Soup

  • 1 Brown Onion, diced
  • 2 Potatoes, finely diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, diced
  • 1 Carrot, diced
  • 1 Leek, finely diced
  • 200g / 7 oz. Barley
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, finely diced
  • 4 Sprigs of Thyme
  • Salt


Starting the Beef Broth

  1. Cut the Onion, Celery and Carrots in half (leaving their skin on) and place on a large sheet pan with the Stewing Beef Bones. Drizzle with Olive Oil and Salt then Roast in the Oven for 30 minutes at 400F
  2. Once caramelized, remove the Beef Bones and place into a large Dutch Oven or Pot on the stovetop. Strain the liquid and pour into the Dutch Oven with the Beef Bones, discarding the Vegetables
  3. Add 10 cups of Water to the Pot and bring to a Boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours
  4. After 2 hours, remove all the Beef Bones and set aside. Strain the broth through a sieve and return the liquid to the pot, discarding the Vegetables. Strip the meat from the Bones and place the Bones back into the Liquid

Making the Soup

  1. Add all the Soup Ingredients to the Pot (Brown Onion, Potatoes, Celery, Carrot, Leek, Barley, Garlic Cloves, and Thyme). Season with 2 tbsp. of Salt. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook the Soup for 2 hours, stirring occasionally
  2. After 2 hours, remove the Beef Bones and Thyme stems from the Soup and discard. Return the Meat that you had set aside earlier to the Pot to warm. Check for seasoning and then serve immediately

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe produces a large batch of Beef and Barley Soup with Vegetables. Enough to easily feed 10 people. You can halve the ingredients to make a smaller batch or simply freeze what you don’t eat for later. The Soup will be good for a month in the freezer after cooking
  • While it takes a few hours to make, the effort is minimal, and the reward is great. The most wonderfully rich tasting Beef and Barley Soup with Vegetables is ready to be served!

For more wonderful Soup recipes check out our Soups page here. Here are a few of our recommended Soups we’d love for you to try:

Happy Cooking!

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