Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup—a savory brothy soup with tender bites of beef, chewy barley and vegetables. Let it simmer all day in your slow cooker.
Get the INSTANT POT beef and barley soup recipe here
Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup
Greg ate 3 bowls of this last night. I think it’s a keeper! We loved the beefy flavor and the chewy barley. My kids liked it too…mushrooms and all. Not typically something you’d think that kids would like but good food is good food.
A few notes about ingredients:
Barley–I used pearl barley that I purchased from Winco in the bulk section. I have not tried this with other types of barley. Whole barley takes a longer time to cook but if you’re going to be out of the house for 10 hours you may want to try that instead. It will hold up better.
Broths–This recipe uses beef broth and chicken broth for flavor. I used 6 cups of water and 2 tsp of Better than Bouillon Chicken Base and 4 tsp of Better than Bouillon Beef Base instead of the broths. I like buying my Better than Bouillon at Costco. I use them all the time when cooking in my slow cooker. If you’re trying to cut down on sodium use lower sodium broths.
Beef–I bought a family pack of stew meat from the grocery store. I cut the bigger chunks of beef in half with kitchen shears. Sometimes stew meat is not cut uniformly. I’d rather have smaller bites of beef than huge chunks of beef. You can also buy a chuck roast and cut it yourself. I like cutting the roast when it is slightly frozen. I like to throw the roast into the freezer for an hour and then cut it up. It really makes it so much easier.
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What Slow Cooker Did You Use?
To make Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup I used my Ninja Auto-iQ 6 Quart Slow Cooker.* My favorite feature of this slow cooker is that it has a stove top function. This is perfect for browning the beef and sauteing the onions.
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A savory brothy soup with tender bites of beef, chewy barley and vegetables.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 pounds beef stew meat (or chuck roast cut into cubes)
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¾ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 cup diced mushrooms
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- ¾ cup pearl barley
- Heat a large frying pan on your stove over medium high heat. While the pan is heating up pat the beef dry and season it with the salt and pepper. When the pan is hot add 1 Tbsp of the oil and swirl it around. Add in the beef and let each piece touch the bottom of the pot so that it can brown well. You may have to work in batches. Let the beef sit for about 3-5 minutes and then turn each piece over and brown on the other side. Scrape the beef to one side of the pan and add in the other tablespoon of oil. Add in the onion and mushrooms and saute for about 3 minutes. Then add in the garlic and let it cook for about 30 seconds. Scrape the contents of the pan into the slow cooker.
- Stir in the broths, tomato paste, worcestershire, bay leaf, thyme, carrots and barley.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Stir and taste test. Add additional seasonings to taste. I added in more salt and pepper and worcestershire. Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy!
- Category: Soup
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.