Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup
A slow cooker makes this the easiest recipe ever. It has become a regular family favorite. So much so, that I was requested to bring it to Christmas Eve dinner. I usually use leftover boneless beef short ribs.
A slow cooker makes this the easiest recipe ever. It has become a regular family favorite. So much so, that I was requested to bring it to Christmas Eve dinner. I usually use leftover boneless beef short ribs.
My husband and I loved this soup. I did however make some minor changes. First, I added one beef soup bone, I find that this always helps add more flavor to any soup. Second I used 2 cups of water, 2 cups of beef broth, and 2 cups of chicken broth to balance the flavors. Also, I added fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. Last, I only used 1/2 a cup of barley and I added the barley 2hrs. before serving it. The first time I made this soup I added the barley in the beginning the barley ended up mushy.Read More
I found this soup to be to plain tasting for my family, It was easy enough and turned out fine, looked good, but there was just no flavor to it. I would recomend adding alittle something more to it, I don't think I'll try this one again.Read More
My husband and I loved this soup. I did however make some minor changes. First, I added one beef soup bone, I find that this always helps add more flavor to any soup. Second I used 2 cups of water, 2 cups of beef broth, and 2 cups of chicken broth to balance the flavors. Also, I added fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. Last, I only used 1/2 a cup of barley and I added the barley 2hrs. before serving it. The first time I made this soup I added the barley in the beginning the barley ended up mushy.
I made this for dinner last night and it was great, except for one thing. When I browned the stew meat in the oil the recipe said "add a little water to the skillet and stir to pick up the browned bits." I did that but my soup turned out WAY too greasy, next time I would just use the meat!
We really enjoyed this soup on a cold rainy day in winter...but....slow cooked beef combined with the barley did something ....um..cleansing to our systems! So I caution anyone with digestive problems to be aware of this. It was very delicious, that's for sure, but it's become a bit of a comedy thing around here when I threaten to make the crock pot beef barley soup! :-) Perhaps next time I'll make it without the beef, and add cold roast beef at the end of the cooking...that should be ok.
Great basics. Used all beef broth, added carrots, used 3 large yellow onions, real garlic, more spices. It was still bland at the end, but I found the secret....added some fennel seed for the last half hour....perfect!!
A nice budget friendly, easy soup for a cool winter day. I only had quick cooking barley, so I added it in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
very good. You should give it a try.
Took into account the comments about being a little bland. Browned stew meat w/ diced yellow onion and thyme. Added to the crockpot 1 1/2 cans beef broth, 6 cups water and 4tbsp. of beef granules. Then added sliced carrots, can of corn and can of diced tomoatoes. Two hrs. before serving I added the barley. So yummy!! My husband loved it and my very fussy, no veggie eating teenager LOVED it also. Will definitely make again.
I found this soup to be to plain tasting for my family, It was easy enough and turned out fine, looked good, but there was just no flavor to it. I would recomend adding alittle something more to it, I don't think I'll try this one again.
I used chopped white onion, instead of the green onion. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious. Great way to used leftover pot roast, steak, etc.!
YUM! This is delicious. I used regular onion instead of green onion and everyone loved it.
This is such an easy recipe! I've made it with the beef and without and it's just as good. I did adjust the seasonings a bit to my taste but that's the only change I made. I'm looking forward to making it more often this winter!
In regards to the barley, use pearl barley instead of the quick cooking variety in the crock pot.
My mom made the best beef barley soup but never had a recipe. She just tossed stuff in, so I tried to find something similar. This is what I did and it was much like my mom's. I browned some beef on a large marrow bone( not sure which cut- my husband picked it up) in olive oil. I added salt, pepper, garlic powder and fresh cut garlic and sautee'd for a bit. I added three stalks of cut up celery and some fresh mushrooms as well. I put the meat/bone mixture in a crockpot, added carrots and a handful of fresh parsley. I substituted the green onion and added one onion cut up in large chunks. Then poured in two cans of beef broth and filled the crock pot the rest of the way up ( minus 2 inches) with water. I cooked on low for 8 hours. I then added 1/2 cup of barley and a can of drained butter beans. I cooked on low for an addtional hour and it tasted just like my mom's soup. I love the flavor , as it reminds me of what I had growing up. At first the broth is thin and I love it that way but if it just sets a bit after you turn off the heat, it thickens up and I love it that way as well. I rate my own a 4.
This was really, really bad. Sorry. We tried...
@ Moochiecat: Any time everyone who eats the same thing ends up all having 'digestive problems', usually means that the meat used was improperly handled and/or expired and should not have been used.
I think this is a great recipe! Warm and hearty...good for cold winter days. I tweaked the seasonings to my taste, but Im not one for writing a review based on a million alterations. This recipe was good as is, and better when changed for my tastes. Even my husband, the pickiest of picky gobbled this right up. A winter staple in our house.
This is a great starter recipe for Beef Barley Soup. I don't bother with the slow cooker; I do it right on my stovetop. I let it simmer on low for about 2 or 3 hours, and the beef comes out unbelievably tender. I also don't use the plain water at all. I use all beef broth to cook the veggies and the meat and it works so much better than just water. I also add balsamic vinegar and a touch of tomato paste to the meat to give some tanginess.
Outstanding! I was trying to use ingredients from my pantry, so I used almost three boxes of organic chicken broth. I pressed three small cloves of garlic in place of the garlic powder. I used a large yellow onion instead of the green onions. Added a tad more meat, a pinch more salt and I inadvertantly added the thyme at the beginning instead of just before serving. I also followed another reviewer's tip and added the barley 2-3 hours before serving. All said, this is the best soup I've ever made. I took a large bowl of it to my neighbors along with a pan of cornbread. They enjoyed it, too!
I made this recipe yesterday and it came out great. As it was getting closer to being done I thought that it could use something extra. After reading through some reviews I decided to add some Worcestershire Sauce and Beef Boullion. Thats exactly what it needed. Next time I will add the barley about 2-3 hours before its finished. Great recipe!!!!
I halved the recipe for use in my small slow cooker. This turned out as more of a stew than a soup, but I'm OK with that. I couldn't find beef broth without MSG, so I used beef stock instead. I tossed the beef with salt, pepper, and flour before browning, and used a bit of the beef stock to deglaze the skillet instead of water. I also used a regular onion rather than green onions. The beef was very tender and the barley and the carrots didn't get mushy (I don't like mushy carrots) despite the long cooking time. I'll make this again for sure.
It was pretty good. I followed instructions in the comments to add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, except the barley, cook for 10 hours, then let the barley in an hour before finish. I thought "wow, I have way more than a half cup of barley, what if I make it 1 cup?" That was a mistake ... now I have a soup that's about the consistency of oatmeal! I'll try to thin it out with more broth.
I added barley in 2 hours before it was ready to avoid mush; and I added 1 can of chicken broth in place of some of the water; also added 1 can of rotel diced tomatoes with chiles, which gave it some spice; used a bag of frozen mixed vegetables; turned out great! will definitely make again.
When I first made this soup, I made it exactly according to the recipe. I had bought all my ingredients fresh that day so the only thing I could think that caused it to go wrong was the canned beef broth. So I made it again, this time with a quart of beef stock (the kind Swanson makes). I'm sure it's not as good as homemade stock would be, but it was a vast improvement from the canned broth. That is the only change I would suggest to this recipe. Otherwise it is great.
Absolutely the best. Very simple, nourishing, affordable meal. My husband very sincerely gets tears of happiness in his eyes just thinking about it, and he didn't even know he liked barley until I made this for him. I had no parsley, and forgot the thyme, and it is still excellent.
I have electric pressure cooker that I used to make this soup. Beef Barley Soup has always been a bland soup which is good when you are not feeling well but for normal times I dress it up. I use fresh or frozen carrots (I buy precut matchstick carrot to use in soup a lot). I use the green onions but I use 12 instead of 6. Always fresh garlic over powder and I add 2 tsp of Mrs. Dash. I cook the Meat for 20 Minutes after I brown with no oil with everything but the barley. I let cool down then add the barley and cook on rice setting. Came out great. I also add a hand full of fresh snapped green beans when I put the barley in as well.
Really enjoyed this soup. I added a can of diced tomatoes. Beware, 1 tsp of pepper leaves it quite spicy. A bit much for my husband. Next time I will half that. Otherwise, this is a great recipe.
Very hearty soup and can be eaten as a meal. I added some parsnip and more broth. Very good.
I qppreciate that this recipe utilizes the slow cooker, which I like to use when we are busy. In this case, we were gone all day, and it was nice to come home to an already cooked meal. I added in some corn and kept the recipe the same otherwise. My husband and I liked this, but the kids said that they didn't really care for the barley.
I really liked this recipe. The longer it sits the better it gets. I guess I didn't realize that my crockpot would not hold all the ingredients. I put everything in the crockpot, with the addition of a can of petite diced tomatoes, and absolutely did not have room for the 6 cups of water. I added as much as I could. I probably added between 1 and 2 cups of water. Needless to say my soup was a little thick, but fortunately we like it that way, and we both thought it was delish!! I also forgot to add the thyme at the end, not sure what that would have added. Will definately make again and again.
I found this recipe to be delicious. The only thing I would change is cut the onions in half and add more carrots. My wife, daughter and I thought there was just many onions. It sort of over took the flavor.
This was a great recipe my only change was I used venison cooked with onions and a little steak seasoning. Served at a company meeting lunch WOW what a hit. Thanks
Wow this was great. I wanted something a little bit thicker so I used the Beef Barley STEW recipe PLUS the Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup recipe together. It turned into a really thick soup. I used 8 cups of beef broth and 2 cups of water. One of the boxes of beef broth was a fancy one made from sirloin steak and was labeled BOLD. I added 1 TBSP of balsamic vinegar and a 1/2 Cup of White Wine. Cooked it for 8 hours on low. DELISH !
Absolutely loved this soup! I had tons of stew meat and didn't know what to do with it, and came across this recipe. It made so much I was able to take half of it to my grandparents! I didnt have fresh parsley or onions, and can't wait to make it again with those added.
WARNING! The recipe calls for adding the barley at the beginning. Do not add until about 30 minutes before the soup should be done. I followed the recipe and the barley was mushy and pretty gross by the time 6 hours in the slow cooker had passed. As far as flavor goes, I thought it was OK but my family refused to eat it and ended up eating sandwiches instead!
I've made this a couple times now. 1st time with condensed soup and 2nd with broth (Swanson's)...I should have done as told. The condensed gives it much more flavor! I just toss frozen stew meat, broth, garlic and onion in slow cooker on high for a few hours. Then I add celery, carrots (extra!), thyme, pepper and barley. Let it go on low for a few more hours and we all devour it!!! Thanks for the great recipe!
This is a great beef barley soup recipe! I wouldn't change a thing! I did have to, though. I didn't have enough beef stock so I used beef boullion. That was fine. I also wanted to try my fresh herbs instead of the dried thyme. Other than those very minor changes, this was fantastic and very easy to make. My fiance had never had beef barley and was kind of skeptical of it and he now is a big fan of the stuff and wants more of it!
This soup is ok. A little bland. I left out the scallions and used 1 chopped yellow onion instead. The meat was very tender and this makes a LARGE batch of soup. I just felt like it was missing something. Next time I make this, and I will make it again because it has potential, I will use fresh herbs (thyme and parsley) and some mushrooms. I also may use chicken broth instead of beef.
I've used this recipe several times and my husband and I both like it. We thought it was too watery, so we use (6) 14.5 oz cans of beef broth and don't add any water. He's a big beef fan, so I also increase the beef to 2 or 2 1/2 lbs. Add bread and salad and you have a great meal on for a cold afternoon!
This was easy to prepare, but I would have liked it more if there were more ingredients to add to the flavor. It just didn't say, Wow! in my mouth.
This was pretty good, and very easy to put together. But it seemed to be missing something. Am going to play with seasongs a bit. But even so I would make it again as it is a great healthy and filling meal on a chilly winter day!
Very hearty and tasty stew! I loved how tender the beef was from using the slow cooker. Easy to make and freeze for more dinners another day. I used fresh thyme rather than dried, and it needed a bit of salt. I will make this again for sure!
Delicious... I also added yellow onion. Only thing I would change would be to cook the barley separately... Turned out a bit starchy. Otherwise a great recipe. A dollop of sour cream on top and some Portuguese rolls, and dinner is served!!
I replaced the beef and beef broth with chicken cutlets and chicken broth and made a wonderful chicken barley soup. Thanks for a great recipe!
I made this yesterday and my family really enjoyed it! The meat was so tender! I did follow the advice to add the barley with about 2 hours left, and I turned the cooker to high for it. Definitely will be using this again
This soup is so easy to make and enjoyable to serve. I put the leftovers in the freezer but found myself defrosting them the next day when my husband was asking for more.
This was a wonderful recipe, after reading many reviews I added the barley the last 2hours of cooking for a firmer barley it worked great, I did mistakenly add the thyme at the start of the recipe. It worked out fine. Prep time was minimal flavor was powerful, if anyone finds this to bland I would suggest adding afew dashes of Worcestershire. I will call this recipe a keeper especially since it even pleased my fussy eater
This is a great soup! I make a double batch either on the stove top or in the slow cooker, then I can the remainder for future use. My husband and kids love it, too. It is still just as good canned as fresh. My family prefers my canned version to anything store bought.
Thank you for this great recipe. I think it was just a little bit too peppery... I will reduce the pepper amount to 1/2 next time. I used fresh garlic and added fresh mushrooms. We really enjoyed it!
I added 4 cups of beef broth, 3 cups of water, 2 tsps of ground thyme, and reduced the salt by 1/4 (hubby has high bp). I added a can of Northern beans, and cooked the soup for 10 hours on low. The soup came out out so thick and rich. Yummy!
This was wonderful, I like a little more kick so I added 1/4 cup zinfandel (red), a table spoon of sundried tomaotoes, two chopped roma tomatoes, fresh garlic, and a small potato...it rocked!
The first thing about this recipe that grabbed my attention was that it is made in a slow cooker. The prep for this is easy and smelled delicious almost instantly, but the taste is SO bland. I have done everything I could to spice it up including fresh garlic, onion powder, extra garlic powder, garlic salt, and finally tomato sauce, but it's still just so-so. I've thrown it out and will NOT make this again!
This was excellent!! My family loved it. I used fresh garlic instead of garlic powder & extra blk pepper when i cooked the meat. I doubled the recipe so we would have left-overs. It turned out so good, I will make it all the time.
Very filling and so good.
I tried both beef and chicken versions with double the pepper and thyme to give it a bit more kick. My daughter likes to add Tiger Sauce to get an even spicier soup. A definite keeper!
There is only one thing I would add.....steak sauce! Just a few dashes (depending on how large your slow cooker is) and it spices up any blandness that is in there! Use the spicy A1 steak sauce for any needed kick. I tend to eyeball it. I have a small slowcooker, since there is only me and my fiance....but we both love it!
This was good....but liked it much better once it sat overnight in my 'fridge and then warmed it up the next day. I always think soup tastes better when it sits and absorbs all the flavors. I added a little less barley and and a little extra beef broth. Will make this again....the day before I serve it.
The soup was delicious -- and healthy. I added a beef pho soup base and it was wonderful.
I gave this a 3-star rating, because to be honest I did not try the soup as it ended up. I was trying to re-create a thick barley soup we had at a restaurant. I started with this recipe in the crock pot, then when it was done I transferred it to a pot and added a blonde roux (recipe on this site as well). Yum yum yum!! Perfect :-)
Excellent soup. I've looked a long time for good beef barley soup.Easy prep then put in slow cooker and forget it. I did find that 6 stalks of celery was too much as was 6 onions. I used 4 stalks of celery and 3 onions. I cooked it 8 hours and found that maybe too much as I would have liked the barley a little more al dente. You will love this soup.
Our favorite beef barley soup! I add a can of tomato sauce or stewed tomatoes for a bit more flavor, and use more beef broth/less water. Thick and yummy!
I cooked this too long - 11 hours - because I work, but it smelled great when i walked in the door. It was a little thicker but still good. Good reviews from the people I served, and four of us went through the whole thing in one meal. I would make it again, but it won't be an often repeat.
Bummer. I have read LOTS of reviews from LOTS of recipes on this site that have complained about blandness and have never had a problem - even when I've had to add just a bit more salt and pepper than called for - but this time, the reviewers were right. I added extra salt, extra pepper, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce, a bit of A1, tomato paste, blackstrap molasses, sage, and finally Adobo (a salt and pepper combo that's popular in Cuban kitchens) and still, to quote another reviewer: there was no "wow" in my mouth. In fact all of those things barely made a dent! I did follow one reviewer's advice and looked up the Beef Barley Stew recipe on here and added about 2 T balsamic vinegar and it kind of helped, but not really, and it was honestly a last ditch effort. It's very pretty, but pretty just isn't gonna cut it this time. I appreciate the recipe, but next time I'll be looking for something different.
I love this soup! It was the first time I made anything with Barley and it turned out so yummy! I'm hooked now. The only changes I made was to use ground beef, because I had it on hand, and bouillon cubes reconstituted to make the broth. I think I did the bouillon cubes wrong though because it turned out saltier then the sea. I don't count that as a problem of the recipe though, that was my fault. So good! Thank you for sharing!
This serves as an excellent base
I cooked this on the stovetop & I used leftover, cubed t-bone steaks (cooked to MED) so I just gave my veggies a quick saute & then added the beef, broths & spices. I only had about 3/4 cup of beef broth & another cup of chicken so I combined those & added enough vegetable broth ( a very rich homemade broth) to make up the difference & then used another 2 cups or so instead of water. I added minced garlic, a couple of bay leaves, worcestershire & about a tbp of beef base. I also cut the barley back to a little more than half. Wonderful soup that was full of flavor....thanks Robin!
Very nice recipe. I tried adding a little more Barley (about 1/2 cup more - but I don't think I'll do that next time. It was a little thick. I also followed a prior reviewer suggestion, I used 7 cups of beef broth (made with beef bullion) and no water. I'll do this one again.
Very disappointing. Really bland even though it smelled great while cooking. I even added a bay leaf and some italian seasoning out of desperation. I used stew meat, maybe I needed something fattier.....definitely not worth the time and effort if you like savory flavors in your food.
This was very delicious! It was more like a stew - very filling. A wonderful surprise and a definite "do over" in our house!
I made this soup recently on a nice cold day. I followed the recipe exactly but it needed more salt and pepper for my taste. I used one cup of barley and it was just the right amount. The only thing is the second day. Soup really got very thick and I had to add more beef broth. Otherwise, the family enjoyed it.
One word - BLAH! I even tried to spice it up with extra spices but it didn't help. Was way too watered down. Won't make again.
Very easy, very flarvorful.
This is a decent base recipe. I have a smaller slow cooker than what this recipe was intended for so I couldn't use the recommended amount of liquid. I used around 3 stalks of celery because 4 seemed overkill. I would use all beef broth or a combo of beef & chicken broth next time as the water leaves it too flavorless. Aside from that, I added in 2 cans of diced potatoes, 2 cans of green beans, and 2 cans of peas. I used 2 lbs of cube steak and it was the perfect amount of meat. I was trying to replicate that Campbell's beef vegetable soup. This was very close. The only issue I had was that it seems to lack a true savory flavor, other wise it was good. Also, I used Pearl Barley and let it cook for 6-7 hours and it turned out fine, not mushy at all. It seems like the fast cooking barley many other use requires you to add it in last minute.
I must have a smaller sized crock pot because I was only able to fit about 5 cups of water. It tasted fabulous. The barley is a nice change from using potatoes all the time. By the way, I ended up adding the 6th cup of water after the soup was done in order to make it more liquidy and to cut down on the salty taste.
I followed this recipe to a T and it's very good! The only suggestions I have are that I would use at least 2lbs. of beef. And don't buy "stew meat" - use a sirloin or roast and cube it. The meat is so tender and just melts in your mouth. I also added a few more carrots. I wouldn't call it bland, but it could use a few more spices, maybe just a bit more garlic & pepper. Everybody loves it, it's good for you and it's perfect for the fall & winter. YUUUUMMY!
O.K. without modification but lacks any kind of flavor. We are going to try again using all beef broth, and delay adding in the barley so it's not overcooked.
I followed the reciped exactly as stated. It was too bland for my taste. I neglected to read the reviews beforehand. I wish that I had. I would have found another recipe. I won't make this one again.
This is a great simple recipe. I used all unsalted beef broth and yellow onion, fresh garlic. For those that felt it bland, let it cool and reheat and the flavors are perfect. I usually make it early in the morning, let it cool and reheat at dinner and the flavors really blend together.
One of the est soups I have made from this site, EXCELLENT! will make again! :D
The soup is EXCELLENT !!! I did use 2 cups of barley instead of one, but that's only because I like Barley. Great recipe. Thanks :-)
This was great! I wasn't sure about the green onions (I usually use yellow onions) but it turned out really good. Not sure if it's really necessary to brown the beef. I used 3/4 cup of barley and didn't use as much celery and carrots as the recipe called for.
I added tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, 2 bay leaves and used beef broth instead of the water and still thought it came out rather bland. We didn't care for this recipe.
Not half bad! Need to try it with venison or moose and perhaps toss in a soup bone.
This recipe was good, I added the rotel tomatoes with chilis to add a little heat.
easy and hearty! perfect for a snowy day.
I just got a crock pot and I was eager to try it out so I took this recipe home with me this weekend. This is one of the best soups I have ever had. It is a perfect crock pot soup!
good soup, just needs more seasoning on meat
Overall good flavour, but a little disappointing. The barley more or less took over.
A terrific recipe. I used leftover roast and a ton more veggies and the results were outstanding. Next time, I'll consider adding a bit of hot pepper to add a little heat to the mix.
Great - thanks for sharing.
Tasty soup! Except mine turned out more like stew. My slow cooker wasn't large enough so I could only put in half the recommended amount of water. But I rather liked it as a thicker stew consistency. Very tasty supper for a cold winter evening. Think I would cut back on the thyme next time though.
Awesome!Everybody wanted this recipe from me! I will definitely make this again! Great on a cold night!
Out of this world
Have made this several times now. Make a few simple changes for an awesome soup. Use all beef broth for the liquid - no water, add the pearl barley the last 2 hours of cooking time. The soup is very thick the next day. My husband and I and other family found this very tasty and just the kind of soup to warm you up on a cold winter's day
I really loved this soup the only thing I did different is I added 1 teaspoon of garlic powder to the soup it's self while cooking and I switch out the green onions for 1 leek I also only cooked it for 5 hours on high. it was so yummy I'll be making this over and over yum.
This soup is really very good - somewhat different from what I had been expecting but adding the spice at the end of the cooking really finishes this dish off nicely. Very satisfying meal with bread on the side.
The parsley adds a unique kick to the combination of beef and barley. Will definitely make this again.
I thought this soup was just okay. The meat itself came out tender and flavorful with the salt, pepper and garlic, but the soup itself was kind of boring. I did however find the soup somewhat tastier as leftovers the next day.
Pretty darn good. I have a 3qt slow cooker though, so I didnt have quite enough room for all the water. I added it in later (after cookiung when I packed it up to freeze) and everything still tastes yummy. Becky and the kids liked it too.
Love the soup, used beef and chicken broth instead of water also added sliced baby Bella's. I cut back on the barley it still soaked up most of the juice added x-tra garlic, rosemary, thyme. Great dish Thanks, Toni