Top Beef Barley Soup Recipe


  •     2 pounds stew meat (nicely marbled beef chunks)
  •     salt and pepper
  •     2 tablespoons oil
  •     10 cups water
  •     3 mounded tablespoons good quality beef base*
  •     3 stalks celery (about 2 cups), chopped
  •     2 onions, chopped
  •     5 cloves garlic, minced
  •     1 large potato, peeled and shredded, about 2 cups
  •     3-4 large carrots, peeled and shredded, about 2 cups
  •     1 cup barley, rinsed


    Generously salt and pepper the beef. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
    When it is very hot, add about 1/3 of the meat. Brown for about 1-2 minutes, then turn to brown the other side. Remove to a plate when it is browned on all sides.
    Repeat with remaining meat in 2 more batches. (If you add it all at once it will steam the meat instead of browning it--not what you want.)
    When all the meat is browned, add all the meat back to the pot with 10 cups of water. Add 3 healthy tablespoons beef stock concentrate.
    Add the chopped celery, onions, and garlic. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 2 hours with the lid on.
    When the meat is tender and you can break it apart easily with a wooden spoon, add the shredded potato and carrots. Bring to a boil, then continue to simmer on low for another 30-45 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
    Add 1 cup of barley. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low. Cook for another half hour, or until barley is tender and the soup tastes...like home.

    Slow cooker instructions:
    In a large pan, brown the meat according to the instructions. Remove the browned meat to a large crockpot.
    Add 2 cups of the water to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir up all the browned bits. Add this and the remaining 8 cups of water to the crock pot.
    Add the beef base, celery, onions, and garlic to the slow cooker and stir.
    Cook on low for about 6 hours. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook for another hour.
    Add the barley and simmer for another hour or so, until it is tender. 


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