Now that the winter coat has come out of the closet (and onto my slightly chilled self on the way to work), it’s officially soup season at House Morell.  This is welcomed with a fair bit of dread from the men of the house… who see right through my efforts to add more vegetables to their lives through steaming bowls of soup.

They should know by now I’m not a gal who appreciates wimpy soups – the kind that leave you hungry a few hours after dinner. Honestly, I’ve never quite understood the point of consommé (unless you have a stomach flu, of course.  Then it makes perfect sense.)  I want a soup that’s loaded with veggies and grains and is hearty and incredibly flavorful.  The boys in my house demand meat in their soup to even out all those sneaky veggies.  And I’m good with that.

Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce you to this rich and hearty wonder…  To the traditional beef and barley soup, add carrots, onions and mushrooms sautéed with a bit of sherry.  And of course some tomatoes and thyme… oh and a bit of Worcestershire sauce.  Oh my… no one will accuse this soup of wimpiness…


Even my veggie-averse boys were impressed.

Not a bad way to kick off the soup season.

Rich and Hearty Beef Barley Soup


  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 pound stew meat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) diced carrots (3 carrots)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (one large onion)
  • 1/2 cup (1/2-inch) diced celery (2 stalks)
  • 2 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 cups organic beef broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted, but plain would be fine)
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley


Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Season the beef with salt and pepper, and add it to the pot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until browned all over. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon and reserve.

Add the carrots, onion, celery, garlic and mushrooms to the fat in the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until the vegetables start to brown. Add the sherry to the vegetables and stir for about a minute – until some of the liquid dissolves. Return the beef to the pot and add the broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the barley. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, drain, and set aside.

When the soup is ready, add the barley and cook the soup for another 15 or 20 minutes, until the barley is tender. Depending on the saltiness of the stock, the soup might need another teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Serve hot.  Preferably with a loaf of warm crusty bread and lots of butter.

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31 Responses to "Rich and Hearty Beef Barley Soup"
  1. Ginger says:

    I love barley! It makes for perfect autumn soups 🙂

  2. Kristin says:

    Looks delicious! I can’t wait to try this. Do you think it might work in the crockpot?

  3. Fantastic soup, hearty and warming.

  4. This soup definitely looks rich and flavorful! Beautiful!

  5. What a wonderful soup, so hearty! Definitely something my family would like…they do all like their veggies fortunately. My only problem is only one likes mushrooms. They’ll have to pick around, because I am definitely trying this soup and mushrooms add such wonderful flavor! Thanks for sharing at Foodie Fridays…I love seeing what you bring every week!

  6. Mmm this looks great, and definitely filling!

  7. Mandi says:

    Good lord, this is my idea of perfect winter dinnre:) I cannot get enough of beef stew during winter and to make a soup out of somehow make it feel less naughty 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  8. Mr Fitz says:

    Thats got my attention!! cool!

  9. Loretta says:

    Yum, this would fit the ticket on a cool Fall day. Love the barley and beef. I featured your chili this week and linked it to your blog. It sure was a hit at the chili cook-off last weekend :). Thanks!

  10. I am with you, I do not want a wimpy soup – there has to be lots of veggies and meat if desired (I have a few vegetarians in my family). Looks delicious and is making me hungry 🙂

  11. What a fabulous, hearty soup – absolutely love the flavours and the array of vegetables as well as the meat – I have to do the same – add meat or get the look! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Your soup is very tempting! I love barley, it’s so underestimated!

  13. You and me both, MB. I like a hearty soup… the more stuff the better. <3 This looks so delicious! Printing as I'm typing… <3

  14. Thank you so much for bringing this wonderful soup to the party!!

  15. ooh la la this looks really good and i bet the beef is really tender, gonna be saving this one thank you x

  16. Kaila511 says:

    Soup season is one of my favorites, and this soup looks delicious. Happy FF. 🙂

  17. This type of meal is one of my favourites, perfect for cold nights. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!! Laura@Baking in Pyjamas

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