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Hearty and positively soul-warming, this beef barley soup simmers all day in the slow cooker, which makes for an incredibly rich soup recipe! #beefbarley #soup #slowcooker #crockpot #comfortfood #barley #beefsoup #easyrecipe #dinner
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4.96 from 45 votes

Crockpot Beef Barley Soup

This ultra comforting beef barley soup recipe is made easy in the slow cooker, which makes for incredibly tender beef and vegetables with perfectly textured barley!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 15 mins
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 - 8 servings
Calories: 378kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 - 1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces (Yukon gold or russets are preferred)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow or sweet onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-1 inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp better than bouillon beef base (optional but recommended)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups beef broth or stock reduced sodium
  • 2/3 cup pearl barley

Instructions

  • If desired, heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet over MED HIGH heat.  Add beef cubes and brown for 1-2 minutes per side.
  • Add beef and all remaining ingredients to slow cooker and stir to combine.  Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  • Remove bay leaves and thyme stems and serve.  Goes perfectly with some crusty bread.

Notes

** if you find the barley is too soft for your liking, you can try adding the barley halfway through the cook time (for slow cooker), and the last 30 minutes of cooking (on the stovetop).  For the instant pot, I would cook the barley separate (since you can't open it up halfway through the cook time).
 

INSTANT POT (PRESSURE COOKER) DIRECTIONS

  1. Place 1 Tbsp oil in the bottom of Instant Pot and set to "Saute". Once hot, work in batches to brown the beef. Place on a plate once browned.
  2. Add additional 2 teaspoons oil to the Instant Pot and saute the onions and celery until softened. Add the garlic and cook 30 more seconds. Add the beef back in along with the carrots, tomato paste, beef base, potatoes, worcestershire, barley, broth, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf.
  3. Stir together, place lid on and set valve to "seal". Cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 15 minutes with a 15 minutes natural release followed by a quick release. Remove lid when safe. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
 

STOVE TOP DIRECTIONS

  1. Place 1 Tbsp oil in the bottom of a pot (a dutch oven works great!). Work in batches to brown the beef. Place on a plate once browned.
  2. Add 1 Tbsp butter to pot and saute the onions and celery over medium heat until softened. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. 
  3. Add the beef back in along with the carrots, tomato paste, beef base, potatoes, worcestershire, barley, broth, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer 60-90 minutes or until beef is tender. 
  4. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

Nutrition

Calories: 378kcal