Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup


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This Crockpot Beef Barley Soup is made with refreshing vegetables, herbs, potatoes, and a heaping amount of beef stew meat. Quick barley adds the final touch to this delicious soup making it hearty and something the whole family will enjoy.

If you enjoy soups with lots of veggies then you’ll enjoy my Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup {with chicken} and Slow Cooker Ribollita Soup.

beef barley soup on a wooden spoon coming from a slow cooker.

Why this crockpot beef barley soup recipe works

Beyond the chopping and dicing of the vegetables, this is a dump-and-go recipe with a cooking time of as little as 3 hours. You could always choose other cooking methods; however, nothing beats tossing everything into the slow cooker and leaving it to cook into tender chunks of beef, potatoes, and veggies.

The top reason for trying this slow cooker beef and barley soup is because it simply tastes delicious. It’s a soup you can enjoy any time of the year and doesn’t call for much more than pantry and refrigerator staples. You can also count on it to feed a large family or crowd.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for beef barley soup on a table.
  • Boneless Beef Chuck Roast Tips: These beef pieces typically come from the large shoulder of the cow also known as the chuck roast. You can also purchase a rump roast and cut it into stew meat pieces.
  • Potatoes: You’ll only need two large yellow potatoes that will be peeled and diced.
  • Vegetables: Onion, celery, and carrots make this soup completely healthy and hearty.
  • Liquids: Beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato sauce add the perfect amount of liquid to the soup.
  • Seasonings: Ground rosemary, bay leaf, minced garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper are the only seasonings you need. Some people like also to add Italian seasoning for an extra herbal kick.
  • Quick Cook Barley: You may confuse this for oatmeal, but it’s quite different. Barley is a completely different type of grain and can is sometimes referred to as soft barley or pearled barley. Be sure to buy quick cook barley, I use Quaker Oat Brand Quick Barley.

Step-by-Step Directions

Four images of how to make beef barley soup in a crockpot.

Step One – Add all ingredients except barley and beef broth into the crock pot.

Step Two – Pour in the beef broth and stir. Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours or until the beef and vegetables are tender.

Step Three – Add the barley and cook for another 30 minutes on HIGH or until the barley is tender.

Step Four – Remove the bay leaves from the soup and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Serve and enjoy.

beef barley soup in a white slow cooker, done cooking.

Recipe FAQs

What is the best way to serve slow cooker soups like this?

Serve the tender beef and barley soup hot with crusty bread, garnish with fresh parsley, and enjoy! You can also drizzle the bread and soup with olive oil for added flavor.

Can I use regular barley instead of quick barley?

Yes, you can use regular barley in this recipe. However keep in mind that regular barley takes longer to cook. Add the regular barley to the slow cooker at the beginning of the cooking process, along with the other ingredients.

How do I store leftover beef and barley soup?

Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, transfer the soup to a pot and heat over medium-low to medium high heat until warmed through.

Can I freeze this soup?

Yes, allow the soup to cook completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag. Depending on how much soup you have left, you can use multiple freezer containers to store smaller increments. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the soup in the fridge overnight.

Can I add anything else to the beef and barley soup?

es, some great additions to the beef and barley soup include bell peppers, green beans, corn, peas, zucchini, diced tomatoes, fresh thyme, or mushrooms.

Can I use a different type of broth or stock?

Of course. You can try homemade chicken stock, chicken broth, or vegetable stock.

Can I substitute the chuck for another meat in slow cooker recipes like this?

You can use lean beef like ground beef. I would suggest that you brown beef in a large skillet first and then transfer beef into the slow cooker to prevent excess fat.

The recipe calls for barley, but can I use brown rice?

Yes. Any grain would be a good fit for a recipe like this. Be sure to add it at the end of the slow cooking process so it doesn’t overcook.

bowl of beef barley soup with crockpot in back ground.

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beef barley soup in a white slow cooker, done cooking.

Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup

5 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Made with beef stew meat, potatoes, quicky cooking barley, and a host of vegetables – this refreshing soup is one the entire family will enjoy.

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 lbs. beef stew meat cubes, or chuck roast cut into cubes
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 large yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 6 Cups beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ Cup quick cook barley, (I use Quaker Oat Brand)

Instructions 

  • To a 6 quart slow cooker, add all the ingredients except for the barley and stir.
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours, or until the beef and vegetables are tender.
  • Add the barley and cook for another 30 minutes on high or until the barley is tender.
  • Remove the bay leaves from the soup and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
  • Serve the beef and barley soup hot with crusty bread, garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!

Notes

Can I use regular barley instead of quick barley?
Yes, you can use regular barley in this recipe. However keep in mind that regular barley takes longer to cook. Add the regular barley to the slow cooker, along with the other ingredients, at the beginning of the cooking process.
How do I store leftover beef and barley soup?
Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, transfer the soup to a pot and heat over medium-low heat until warmed through.
Can I freeze this soup?
Yes, allow the soup to cook completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight. ❖
Can I add anything else to the beef and barley soup?
 Yes, some great additions to the beef and barley soup include, bell peppers, green beans, corn, peas, zucchini or mushrooms.

Nutrition

Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 1023mg | Potassium: 1191mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4066IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. Jim says:

    Can i use a different meat like game meat (venison).?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Yes, vension will work wonderfully.

  2. sierra bennet says:

    hey sarah i just talked to your sweet mother and im going to try this soup your mom just told me about

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Awe! I think you will love it. Glad she told you about it.

  3. mike says:

    5 stars
    Do I need to brown the meat first,

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      No, you don’t need to brown the meat first.

  4. Nancy M says:

    5 stars
    I made the beef barley soup yesterday and my husband loved it, even came back for seconds. I unfortunately set my hopes up high bc I love the canned version so much so it was a disappointment for me in that regard. But it did have its own unique flavor and was very filling. FYI – Do not over add the barley as it expands when it cooks.

  5. Nancy says:

    Can lentils be used instead of barley?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Yes, though you want to add them at the beginning.

      1. Nancy says:

        Thank you.

  6. Lisa says:

    When adding extras like peas, peppers and corn, how much would you add of each?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      A 1/2 cup to a 1 cup each.

  7. Pam says:

    5 stars
    This sounds delicious. I generally like using baby carrots. What is the ratio between whole sliced carrots to baby carrots? Thank you.

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      A half pound will probably be just right, it doesn’t need to be an exact amount.