Beef and Barley Soup Recipe

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beef and barley soup
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 10 mins
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories262 Kcal13%
Fat8 g11%
Saturated Fat3 g15%
Carbohydrates19 g7%

Beef and barley soup is a traditional recipe that doesn’t need much interference in terms of tweaking. With just eight ingredients it’s a real ‘all-in-one’ method that means cooking it is a joy. Throw most of the ingredients in the pot and leave it to simmer away until the meat is meltingly tender, before finally adding the barley for a good bit of bite. We’ve served our beef and barley soup with a handful of parsley and a good hunk of crusty bread to mop up all the juices with. Because this is a slow-cooked soup it reheats really well too, so it’s no problem to make extra to bank for another day. If you’d like to you can freeze it too, just allow to cool fully before portioning up and stashing away for a cold day. When ready to eat defrost overnight in the fridge and then reheat in a large pan on a medium heat until the meat is piping hot through.


  1. Season the beef, then heat the oil in a large pan and brown the meat on all sides for about 5 mins. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for 5-10 mins, using a wooden spoon to scrape any browning from the meat from the bottom of the pan, until softened.
  3. Add the stock to the pot with the reserved meat and the bay leaves, and simmer on a low heat for 2 hours the meat is tender. Add the barley, season to taste, and cook for another 45 mins until the barley is tender.
  4. Use two forks to shred the meat and serve with crusty bread.


  • 900g brisket, whole
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1.5ltr good quality beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 150g pearl barley
  • parsley
  • crusty bread, to serve
Top Tip for making Beef and Barley Soup

Brisket is the perfect slow-cooked meat – full of flavour with a fab texture if given enough time.

Rosie Conroy is a food and drinks journalist with over a decade of experience working for big-name titles in both print and online. Formerly the Digital Food Editor of woman&home, Rosie went on to head up the team at SquareMeal, reviewing the best London restaurants and hunting out emerging culinary trends. With previous experience in food styling and recipe development, Rosie knows what to look for in a good piece of kitchenware and has extensive experience testing consumer goods—from kitchen electricalz and cooking accouterments through to new foodie treats.