A wintertime comfort food at its best. I cook for 8 people with big appetites, so halve this recipe for a smaller group. If you like green bean casserole, try adding green beans and some fried onions on top for a tasty twist. Remember, homemade broth has the best flavor, but you can substitute store-bought or chicken or turkey broth.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
6 hrs 10 mins
total:
6 hrs 25 mins
Servings:
14
Yield:
14 servings
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Ingredients

14
Original recipe yields 14 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Cook and stir ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain excess grease, and transfer beef to a slow cooker.

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  • Place shiitake mushrooms into a food processor and pulse several times to cut the mushrooms into small pieces.

  • Stir shiitake mushrooms, beef broth, barley, sweet onion, garlic, black pepper, salt, celery seed, and parsley with the ground beef in the slow cooker.

  • Cook on Low for 5 hours.

  • Stir heavy cream and green beans into the soup and cook 1 hour more.

Nutrition Facts

278 calories; protein 12.2g; carbohydrates 34.1g; fat 11.3g; cholesterol 43.6mg; sodium 479.1mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (6)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
10/09/2012
This rating is with my modifications. Thanks to those who rated before I didn't make the same mistakes. I used twice the amount of broth and only 3\4 cup of barley. I also added more spices about 1\4 tsp tarragon leaves 2 tsp garlic salt and a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash. It was a good idea for a recipe just needed a little help. Read More
(4)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
03/05/2012
Only 5 cups of liquid for 16 ounces of barley! After this was in the slow cooker for just a short time the barley had absorbed all of the liquid and the whole mixture was dry! I added 5 cups of water just to cover the mixture and it still turned out having the texture of oatmeal or thick mashed potatoes. There was very little flavor as well. I was able to improve that with an additional teaspoon of salt 2 teaspoons of woprcestershire sauce and a teaspoon of dried thyme but it was just glop and not at all like soup. Read More
(15)
9 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 1 stars
03/05/2012
Only 5 cups of liquid for 16 ounces of barley! After this was in the slow cooker for just a short time the barley had absorbed all of the liquid and the whole mixture was dry! I added 5 cups of water just to cover the mixture and it still turned out having the texture of oatmeal or thick mashed potatoes. There was very little flavor as well. I was able to improve that with an additional teaspoon of salt 2 teaspoons of woprcestershire sauce and a teaspoon of dried thyme but it was just glop and not at all like soup. Read More
(15)
Rating: 2 stars
03/07/2012
There is something terribly wrong with this soup. When you cook a pound of barley it requires a lot more liquid than 5 cups. I followed the recipe as ordered. When I checked the crockpot four hours later ALL the broth had been absorbed. I needed to add 5 cups of water to get close to soup. There was almost no room in the pot for anything else. The ground beef was a good idea. Read More
(9)
Rating: 4 stars
10/09/2012
This rating is with my modifications. Thanks to those who rated before I didn't make the same mistakes. I used twice the amount of broth and only 3\4 cup of barley. I also added more spices about 1\4 tsp tarragon leaves 2 tsp garlic salt and a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash. It was a good idea for a recipe just needed a little help. Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/24/2013
This came out great. I did add an extra 3 cups of liquid and downed the barley to 1 cup. My family won't eat mushrooms so I omitted them and added one diced carrot and one diced potato. I did not add in the optional cream or green beans. Thanks for a great recipe! Read More
(1)
Rating: 3 stars
04/16/2014
I cut the pepper in half and it was still a bit too much for me. I put in a TON of mushrooms 'cause I love 'em but I feel like it still needs something else.. I'll definitely make it again & I'll figure out the missing ingredient for my taste buds!! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
01/09/2017
After reading the reviews I still wanted to make this but I took into account many of their suggestions. We dropped the barley to 1 cup. We bloomed celery onions garlic Worcestershire Tarragon and Rosemary in with the Ground Beef to bring out its flavor. I turned into a good porridge and with a few more tweaks will probably make it into our cycle. Read More
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