We’re in the depths of winter, and it’s time for some serious comfort food. My first thought is soups and stews. One of the easiest and heartiest meals, Beef Barley Soup with vegetables is even better when made in a crock pot. It’s filled with tender beef, hearty vegertables, and plump barley. You spend so little time for such a wonderful filling meal. Put it on and leave it alone while you do something else. Add crusty bread or rolls and dinner is served.
This recipe uses inexpensive cuts of meat like a chuck roast or shoulder. I like using a bone-in roast as bones add so much flavor and minerals. I cut the roast into chunks before cooking but also put the bone into the pot. Most of us really like quick prep. You could use lean stew meat and I’d also suggest using a beef soup bone. The bone is removed after cooking and you get nutrition and great taste. If you have trouble finding soup bones, the economical and practical tip is to save your roast and steak bones in the freezer. Add them to the next pot of soup for incredible flavor. Be sure to brown your meat before adding to the pot. It adds tons of flavor. If you have left over pot roast, beef roast, or steak, you could use that instead. If you have no bone, use a box of beef bone broth instead of 1 of beef broth.
One of the main components in this recipe is barley. Barley is a grain that is very similar in size and texture of brown rice. There are several different types of barley but the most common is pearl barley which is used in this recipe. With it’s slightly nutty flavour and interesting texture, it will sure to be a hit in your next homemade soup. Red wine adds depth to the recipe as a whole, when everything is left to slow cook for hours.
Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Soup
Use organic when available. Serves 5 to 6
Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Soup
- 1 1/2 lbs beef stew or chuck roast excess fat removed and cut into chunks
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 beef soup bone
- 1 medium onion peeled and chopped
- 2 peeled and chopped carrots
- 2 peeled and chopped celery sticks
- 4 medium potatoes peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 to 6 cups beef broth low sodium
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 10 to 16 oz bag of frozen mixed vegetables
- Place oil in large pan and over medium high heat
- Salt and pepper meat
- Add beef and onion to pan and brown 2 minutes
- Add garlic and celery and cook 1 minute
- Transfer beef vegetable mix to bottom of crockpot
- Add potatoes and beef bone
- In a bowl whisk together broth, tomato paste, bay leaf, wine, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme
- Pour broth mix over beef and veggies
- Cook on low for 4 hours
- Adjust seasoning as needed
- Add barley and frozen vegetables
- Add more broth if needed
- Cook on high for 2 hours until meat and vegetables are tender
- Remove bone and bay leaf
- Serve with hot, crusty bread or rolls
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