The Best Beef and Barley Soup

Home ยป The Best Beef and Barley Soup

These are the soups we live on in winter. They are very warm and warm you up on cold days. Not only do you get the most tender, flavorful beef, but it’s packed full of barley, vegetables, and fresh herbs. We know it might seem like a lot of time and effort, but once you have your veggies prepped and your beef roasted, it’s easy to do. You just give it time to simmer and develop all the flavors while you relax on the couch. To make this soup even easier, you can prep the vegetables first, then sear the beef, then throw it all in the saucepan and let it handle the rest. Whether you choose the stovetop or the slow cooker, you’ll be raving about this soup all winter long.

Beef Options for Beef and Barley Soup

The best meat for this soup is stewed meat. Your grocery store should have it, ready for you. If you can’t find it, you can buy a roast. You can also use ground beef if you prefer.


Browning the chuck roast is technically an optional step. If you absolutely don’t have time, you can skip it. However, we strongly recommend that you brown your roast. It adds so much flavor to this soup that if you skip this step, you’re really missing out.

red wine

We love the extra flavor the red wine brings to this soup, and as it simmers longer on the stove, all the alcohol is cooked off before you can drink it. However, if you don’t want to cook with alcohol, you can always substitute more broth.

Wondering what type of red wine to use? You can really use any red wine you like. The type of wine is not important, the important thing is to make sure that the wine you use is good enough. Please do not use cooking wine from the grocery store. The flavor wasn’t great, and it just added a ton of salt, which you really don’t want in this soup.

Ketchup Tips

We always hate wasting leftover cans when a recipe like this only calls for a few tablespoons of tomato paste. Instead, we buy tomato paste in tubes next to the can so we can only use the small amount needed and not waste it.


Barley is an underutilized grain. There are several different types of barley, but we prefer pearl barley in this soup.