This Beef & Barley Soup makes a delicious and healthy one-pot meal that requires minimal cooking and clean up. Keep this recipe on the menu rotation for an easy meal that the whole family will love!
When it comes to cooking, there’s nothing I love more than a one pot or one pan meal. While I used to have a lot more time to putz around the kitchen experimenting and cooking elaborate meals, now that we have a little one, I’m just looking to get the job done as fast as possible.
That means that any recipe that requires minimal cooking time and clean up is always good in my books.
And that’s exactly why this Beef & Barley Soup has been a regular item on our menu lately.
It contains the protein, grains and veggies all in one pot, so no need to make up extra sides.
Plus, my little guy LOVES it and my husband always enjoys this nice hearty meal too, so as long as the boys are happy, mama is happy!
How to Make Beef & Barley Soup
So there really isn’t much to talk about when it comes to this soup since it’s pretty hard to screw up.
You basically want to start by cooking the onion, garlic, carrots and celery until they’re nice and fragrant. This is what gives off that warm and cozy “mama’s cooking” smell that everyone loves to come home to.
Next, add the beef to the pot and cook until no longer pink inside. At this point, you may wish to drain off any fat. Add the spices to the beef and veggie mixture and cook for an additional minute.
And then you’re simply going to add the remaining ingredients to the pot, turn the stove up to high and bring to a bowl. Turn it down to low and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes or so until barley is cooked and vegetables are tender.
Season it up with some salt and pepper to taste and you’re ready to serve!
Special Notes for this Beef & Barley Soup
So one thing that you may notice about this soup is that it tends to thicken up after sitting for a few hours. That’s all thanks to the barley which soaks up that liquid thanks to its soluble fibre content.
You may also notice that this same thing tends to happen with oatmeal or chia seeds which are also good sources of soluble fibre. It’s actually a great property because it means that it keeps you feeling full for longer, but it also means that you’ll most likely be eating mostly barley, beef and veggies with little broth to be found if the soup has been sitting for a while.
So how do we solve this problem?
Just keep a little extra broth on hand. When you’re ready to serve, simply add the desired amount of broth to the mixture to make it soupy again and give it a good stir.
Can I freeze Beef & Barley Soup?
Definitely! In fact, I do it all the time since my little guy loves it so much. I like to keep the freezer stocked with some of this soup in case we have one of those nights where I can’t quite pull it together.
Simply defrost it in the microwave or if you know you’re going to need it in advance, put it in the fridge to thaw.
Keep in mind that you may need some extra broth once it’s defrosted since that barley probably soaked up most of the liquid while sitting in the freezer.
So there you have it!
A delicious, one pot family-friendly meal that requires minimal cooking and clean-up.
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- Meatball Barley Soup
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Beef & Barley Soup
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3 large carrots diced
- 3 ribs of celery diced
- 1 1/2 lbs extra lean ground beef
- 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 28 oz. can no salt added diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 4 cups no salt added beef broth (or more, if required)*
- 1 cup dry pot barley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Turn on the stove to medium-high heat and add oil to a large sauce pan. Add onion, garlic, carrots and celery to pot. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add beef and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until no longer pink. Add spices and cook for an additional minute.
- Add remaining ingredients to the pot, give the mixture a good stir and turn up stove to high. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes or until barley is cooked and vegetables have softened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
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