Hearty beef barley soup with chunks of tender beef with some veggies and barley. A crock pot soup that you can start in the morning and eat in the evening. Make a pot today for that cold weather day.
Editor's Note: Originally published December 3, 2016. Updated with expanded text and re-edited photos.
I needed a hardy soup. It needed to not require any intention. No add this or shred that in the middle. Just prepare in the morning for the evening. Screaming crock pot and beef to me.
So I looked around a little. I starred at my Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Soup.
My wife had some definite ideas. Mostly garlic, she craves garlic and this needed garlic. Also, she was not looking for a vegetable beef soup with barley. No green beans and no tomatoes. OK, I can do that.
It's a nice middle 4. She had two serving.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes for Hearty Beef Barley Soup
Some recipes cooked it separately and added near the end. Some added with 2 or 4 hours before done.
Most added at the beginning and that works great. I feel that the texture was fine when added at the start of cooking. If you want firmer barley, put it in at the halfway point.
Pearl barley is the most common form of barley available. Pearl barley has the outer husk, and bran layers have been removed. Pearl barley is softer but is lacking a bit of the nutrition. Either pearl or husk barley works here.
The amount of barley I suggested is 1/2 cup. It seems like that would not be much. It will take up a lot of space, so that is about the maximum you want.
Final note, rinse under running water before cooking to wash away any dust or debris.
I like to brown the beef in recipes like this, so I spent 5 minutes of browning and then I added the garlic to bloom it for a minute or two.
If you don't use non-stick pan then, you might need to add a little broth to the pan after moving the beef to deglaze the pan.
You may use store trimmed stew meat, but I like to use a chuck roast and trim it myself.
The Recipe Size.
I had a 2 pound plus chuck roast and the recipes I was using to model used 2 pounds. That makes way too much for a "cooking for two" website.
The pictures show the "double" two pound of beef size of recipe, but all the discussion is for my suggested "cooking for two" size with one pound of beef.
Crock Pot Size.
The recipe is written should fit nicely in a 3 1/2-4 qt. crock pot. If you do the "double" size, then a full size 6-8 qt. crock pot would be good.
I forgot the tomato paste for the photo. Also, the pictures are for a full "double" recipe. The recipe card is set for half the amount. So the discussion is also adjusted to half.
Start with about 1 pound of chuck roast. Trim and cut into bite-size pieces.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef to brown for about 5 minutes. Add 1-2 cloves crushed garlic for the last minute of browning. Move to a crock pot.
Dice 2 stalks celery, 1 medium potato, 1 1/2 carrots, and one medium onion. Add to crock pot.
Add 3 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 cup uncooked rinsed barley. Finally, add 4-5 cups beef broth.
Cook on low for 8 hours.
Crock Pot Beef Barley Soup
- 1 pound chuck roast - cubed or use stew meat
- 1-2 cloves garlic - crushed or minced
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 1/2 carrots - medium
- 1 onion - medium
- 1 potato - medium
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt - to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup uncooked barley - rinsed
- 4-5 cups beef broth
- Start with about 1 pound of chuck roast. Trim and cut into bite size pieces.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef to brown for about 5 minutes. Add 1-2 cloves crushed garlic for the last minute of browning. Move to a crock pot.
- Dice 2 stalks celery, 1 medium potato, 1 1/2 carrots, and one medium onion. Add to crock pot.
- Add 3 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 cup uncooked barley. Finally add 4-5 cups beef broth.
- Cook on low for 8 hours.
- The pictures are double the written instructions.
- The barley was a little heavy. You can decrease by 25% if you want.
- Either pearl or barley with husk may be used.
- Rinse under running water before cooking to wash away any dust or debris.
- Add a can of diced tomatoes if you want but use 4 cups of broth.
- A cup full of green beans may also be added.
- If you like your barley firm, then add it halfway through cooking and not at the beginning.
- As written, this will fit into a smaller 3 1/2 quart crock pot. Use a 6-8 qt crock pot if doubling.
- Good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days but will freeze well for several months.
Originally Published December 3, 2016