Beef Barley Soup

Beef barley soup is a hearty and comforting dish that warms the soul, perfect for chilly days or whenever you crave a satisfying meal. Packed with tender chunks of beef, nutritious vegetables, and wholesome barley, this soup is a wholesome option for lunch or dinner. Follow this simple recipe to create a delicious pot of beef barley soup that will delight your taste buds and fill your kitchen with savory aromas.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2–3 lbs chuck roast
  • 2 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2/3 cup medium barley
  • 1 can corn, drained (14.5 ounces)

Directions:

  1. In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chuck roast and sear it until browned on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot and set it aside on a plate.
  3. Add the sliced carrots, celery, and finely chopped onion to the pot. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
  4. Stir in the crushed garlic, dried parsley, dried oregano, and ground thyme. Cook for just 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  5. Pour in the beef broth and diced tomatoes. Add the bay leaf and return the seared beef to the pot.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup for 1 1/2 hours or until the roast is fork-tender.
  7. After the soup has simmered, add the barley and drained corn to the pot. Cover with a lid and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the lid and continue simmering the soup for 15 more minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  9. Once the soup is done, remove the roast from the pot and trim away any excess fat or gristle. Cut or shred the beef into bite-sized chunks and return it to the pot.
  10. Serve the beef barley soup hot and enjoy the comforting flavors.

Tips:

  • For a richer flavor, you can brown the beef before adding it to the soup.
  • Adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences. You can add more herbs or spices for a bolder flavor.
  • If you prefer a thicker soup, you can add more barley or simmer the soup for a longer period to allow the barley to absorb more liquid.
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Conclusion:
Beef barley soup is a classic dish that brings warmth and comfort to any mealtime. With tender chunks of beef, hearty barley, and flavorful vegetables, this soup is both nutritious and delicious. Follow these simple steps to create a homemade batch of beef barley soup that will satisfy your hunger and soothe your senses. Enjoy this wholesome soup with your loved ones and savor the nourishing goodness with every spoonful.

  1. Can I use a different cut of beef for this soup?
  • While chuck roast is traditionally used for beef barley soup due to its tenderness and flavor, you can certainly use other cuts of beef as well. For example, you could use stew meat or even leftover cooked beef from a roast. Just ensure that the beef is tender and suitable for simmering in the soup. Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the cut of beef you choose to ensure it becomes fork-tender.
  1. Can I make this soup in advance and freeze it for later?
  • Yes, beef barley soup freezes well and can be made in advance for convenient meals later on. Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers. Leave some space at the top of the container to account for expansion during freezing. Properly sealed, the soup can last in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, simply thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat it on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through.
  1. Is there a way to make this soup vegetarian or vegan?
  • Yes, you can easily adapt this recipe to make it vegetarian or vegan-friendly. Instead of using beef broth and chuck roast, you can substitute vegetable broth or mushroom broth for the base of the soup. Additionally, omit the beef entirely or replace it with plant-based protein alternatives such as tofu or tempeh for added texture and protein. Ensure that all other ingredients, including the vegetables, barley, and seasonings, remain the same according to the recipe instructions. This adaptation will result in a delicious and nutritious vegetarian or vegan barley soup.
  1. Can I add other vegetables to the soup?
  • Absolutely! Beef barley soup is versatile, and you can customize it to include your favorite vegetables or whatever you have on hand. Besides carrots, celery, and onion, you can add vegetables like potatoes, peas, green beans, or spinach to enhance the flavor and nutritional content of the soup. Feel free to experiment with different combinations of vegetables to create your own unique version of beef barley soup. Just be mindful of the cooking times for each vegetable and add them accordingly to ensure they are cooked to your desired level of tenderness.
  1. Can I substitute pearl barley for medium barley?
  • Yes, you can substitute pearl barley for medium barley in this recipe. Pearl barley is a more processed form of barley, where the outer hull and bran layers have been removed, resulting in a quicker cooking time and a softer texture. If using pearl barley, you may need to adjust the cooking time slightly as it cooks faster than medium barley. Keep an eye on the soup and test the barley for doneness as it simmers. Adjust the cooking time as needed until the barley is tender but still slightly chewy.
  1. Is it necessary to sear the beef before adding it to the soup?
  • Searing the beef before adding it to the soup is optional but highly recommended. Searing the beef helps to develop richer flavor and enhances the overall taste of the soup. It also adds depth to the broth as the browned bits at the bottom of the pot contribute to a more flavorful base. However, if you’re short on time or prefer to skip this step, you can still make delicious beef barley soup without searing the beef. Just be mindful that you may sacrifice some depth of flavor by omitting this step.
  1. Can I use quick-cooking barley instead of medium barley?
  • Quick-cooking barley is a more processed form of barley that has been partially precooked to reduce its cooking time. While you can use quick-cooking barley in this recipe, keep in mind that it may become mushy if overcooked. Adjust the cooking time accordingly and monitor the soup closely as it simmers to prevent the barley from becoming too soft. Quick-cooking barley typically requires less cooking time than medium barley, so check the package instructions for guidance on cooking times and adjust as necessary.
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