Beef Barley Soup is incredibly easy and so delicious!

Loaded with nutritious veggies, tender beef and plump barley, it’s a complete meal in a bowl!

This homemade beef barley soup can be made ahead of time and freezes well making it the perfect family dinner!

Beef Barley Soup in a pot with a ladle

All of my favorite soups are fully loaded with goodies including veggies and grains, this Beef Barley Soup definitely fits the bill!

It is a rich and hearty barley soup that leaves you completely satisfied and warms every inch of your body!

It screams comfort food, like mom used to make and is perfect served up with a side of buttermilk biscuits and a side salad!

How to Make Beef Barley Soup

While the list of ingredients may seem long, this Beef and Barley soup is really easy to make.

I start out by cooking garlic and onions just until softened.

All of the remaining ingredients are simply added to the pot and simmered until tender.

I use homemade stock whenever possible for the best flavor.

What is the Best Beef for soup?

This recipe calls for cooked beef.  You can use any kind of leftover beef for this beef barley soup including pot roast, leftover steak or roast beef.

If you don’t have cooked beef, you can cook your own.  I use either flank steak (sliced against the grain) or cubed chuck.

If you’d prefer, you can most certainly substitute cooked hamburger in this barley soup recipe. If making a ground beef barley soup, you’ll want to brown the beef with the onions and drain any fat.

Beef Barley Soup in a white pot

One of the main components this recipe is barley. Barley is a grain that is very similar in size and texture of brown rice.  There are several different types of barley but the most common is pearl barley which is used in this recipe.

I use it frequently in place of rice and pasta in many soup recipes, perfect in my Chicken Barley Soup!

With it’s slightly nutty flavour and interesting texture, it will sure to be a hit in your next homemade soup!

Try adding it to my Easy Hamburger Soup or in place of the noodles in my Turkey Noodle Soup! Your family will love the change!

Beef Barley Soup in a bowl

Cooking the same things all of the time can leave any home chef in a bit of a meal-making rut. The addition of vegetables makes this a great and healthy choice and keeps is relatively low in calories.

Incorporating new ideas, flavors and textures helps to keep things interesting in the kitchen!

This Old Fashioned Beef Barley Soup is traditional soup that has not lost it’s lustre! We serve this alongside our favorite biscuits or 30 Minute Dinner Rolls with a fresh garden salad for a perfect meal!

Make a large pot and freeze smaller portions to enjoy later – it freezes amazing and you will love how convenient it is to microwave or reheat on the stove!

Beef Barley Soup in a pot with a ladle
4.98 from 509 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Beef Barley Soup

This homemade beef barley soup is loaded with nutritious veggies, tender beef and plump barley. It’s a complete meal in a bowl!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 1 stalk celery sliced
  • 2 cups cooked beef
  • 6 cups reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes 14-15 oz, undrained
  • ½ green pepper diced
  • cup barley
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 package beef gravy mix
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons red wine optional
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Cook onions and garlic in oil over medium heat until softened.
  • Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered about 40-50 minutes or until barley is cooked.
  • Remove bay leaf and serve.



Soup may thicken upon cooling, add extra broth (or water) to reach desired consistency.
4.98 from 509 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 149 | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 385mg | Potassium: 623mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2680IU | Vitamin C: 9.7mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Soup
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. Hi Holly,
    This looks great and I can’t wait to try it.
    I’m wondering what size pot you use… I like to maximize my cooking for leftovers so always adjust recipes to my largest pot size.

  2. Hi, This sounds delicious! My husband is undergoing chemo and radiation for esophageal cancer. He has trouble keeping thing down. I read cream soups are not good for acid reflux so want to try this. A) can it be blended in blender? B) what would you suggest to use in place if tomato? Possibly spinach?

    Thank you!

    1. I haven’t tried blending this so I can’t say for sure but if the veggies are soft enough I think it would work. Perhaps ground beef would blend better than pieces of beef. You can leave the tomatoes out if needed, they add a bit of tangy flavor.

  3. Thanks for this delicious EASY, DONE IN ABOUT 1hr. , Beef Barley Soup recipe. So good, I made it 2 weeks in a row.
    The amount serves me well, i
    I AM 84 YRS OLD, I live alone and I enjoyed giving a portion to my friend.


  4. There was potential, but the taste was off. Not sure I used the correct beef gravy package or amount. There were at least 10 kinds of beef gravy packages at my grocery store. I took a gamble and came up short. I’d be willing to try this recipe again, but would like more specification on the beef gravy ingredient. For example amount of beef gravy, prepared liquid form of beef gravy or dry season packet of beef gravy, and brand of beef gravy would be helpful too. Thank you!

    1. Hi Michelle, I’m sorry you found the taste was off. We use the beef gravy mix packets but you can use whichever beef gravy is your personal favorite. We love McCormicks, it has great flavor.

    1. Hi Nan, You can use any kind of leftover beef for this beef barley soup including pot roast, leftover steak or roast beef. If you don’t have cooked beef, you can cook your own. Flank steak (sliced against the grain) or cubed chuck works well.

      1. Hi Lisa, yes this is what I would do! There is a lot of flavor coming from the soup itself!

  5. My first time making this. It was delicious. My husband and grandson gave it 4.7 rating. I will be making it again in the near future.5 stars

  6. My favorite go-to soup recipe.
    I prefer no peppers and no wine.
    Next to no prep time.
    Ohhhh soooo gooood.5 stars