This easy recipe for slow cooker beef barley soup is not only hearty and delicious, but it makes enough for supper and leftovers and then some! This is the best beef barley soup recipe I know, so hurray for those leftovers!
This is the recipe the brave Southern husband fears above all others.
It’s not that it isn’t a fabulous version of beef barley soup…it absolutely is. Thick and filled with chunks of tender, super-slow-cooked beef, pieces of carrot and onion, laced through with fresh parsley and fresh-ground pepper and just a hint of tomato flavor, this is my favorite soup in the entire world.
It is the perfect classic beef barley, and even better, it cooks in the slow cooker, so you can toss it together in the morning, go to work, forget it completely, trudge home 10 hours later, walk in the door, smell that gorgeous beef barley soup smell, remember tossing it together early in the morning, and smile a huge smile.
So what is there to be afraid of?
Well, this recipe makes a LOT.
I’m sure it’s possible to cut it down — I haven’t actually tried, though, because along with bacon and macaroni and cheese and pizza from Anna’s, this particular beef barley soup may just be my favorite food on earth.
And the first time we have it, the Southern husband is just fine. He even takes on the hardest part of the recipe, which is chopping up the meat into the small bite-sized pieces. Our tummies are full of warm, scrumptious soup and life is good.
Then we have it again. He’s still pretty much okay.
Still about 600 servings to go. And he begins to break down.
Because I guess there actually are some people in the world who don’t like to have wonderful beef barley soup for lunch and dinner for days and days in a row.
Yes, I know I could freeze it…but the thing is, I personally DO like to have wonderful beef barley soup for lunch and dinner for days and days in a row. This is why they say opposites attract.
ingredients needed to make this classic soup!
Here’s how you make this comfort food favorite!
(Scroll down for the handy complete printable recipe with nutrition info!)
You start with the hardest part, which is cutting up 2 pounds of beef chuck roast into small, soup-sized chunks. Or get someone to do it for you (sends kisses to the Southern husband!). Dump it into your slow cooker.
Next, peel and chop a sweet onion (I like to do this in my food processor) and add that to the cooker.
Now add 5 cups of water, 4 packets of beef boullion, an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, a cup of pearled barley and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Give it all a good stir. Cover the cooker and let it cook on low for eight hours. Promise me you won’t take the lid off for a peek – we need to keep all that warmth in the cooker.
Once the soup is done, chop up 5 or six carrots (again, I go for the food processor for this step) and put them in a microwave safe bowl with a few tablespoons of water. Microwave them for 5 minutes and then add them to the soup.
Give it another good stir, taste it and add salt and pepper if you think you need it…and you’re done!
more tips for making the best beef barley soup ever!
Pearled barley is barley that has a couple of its outer layers removed. It’s still a little chewy and all kinds of delicious, but it cooks up to the perfect texture. You can usually find it hanging out near the rice in your favorite supermarket.
Bouillon is soup stock that has been dehydrated into a powder, usually with some spices added. You can find it in the soup aisle. In this recipe, it’s going to give the soup broth a nice beefy flavor. And if you prefer, just swap the water and bouillon for 5 cups of beef broth – both will work just fine!
You can, but they are going to get mushy. I promise that the extra step of microwaving them at the end is going to be worth it!
Pop it in the Comments section below and I promise to answer pronto!
Trust me, aside from the fact that it makes a swimming pool-sized portion, it is the best beef barley soup you will ever, ever make, taste or have giant vats of leftovers of.
It’s at its best when eaten on a chilly night out of your favorite soup bowl. But it’s not bad for breakfast, either….