Hearty, Healthy Beef Barley Soup

Hearty, Healthy Beef Barley Soup
Staff Writer
Beef Barley Soup

Pamela Braun

Beef Barley Soup

I think beef barley soup gets a bad rap sometimes. Let’s face it… it's brown, kind of drab looking, and something we've all eaten since we were kids. It doesn't have a bunch of fancy ingredients in it. In fact, it's usually a soup that we throw together using a cut of beef that's usually on sale, chuck roast. So it's one of those dollar-stretching recipes. But why not make a homemade soup that's a little more special than what you are used to eating? If you're making it yourself, you can do things that make the ho-hum more hoo-hah!

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Click here to see Reinventing Campbell's Soups at Home.


In a bowl, soak the porcini mushrooms in the hot water and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large 6-quart pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the beef and brown on all sides (you may have to do this in batches so you don't crowd the pan). Once browned, remove the beef to a plate.

Then, to the same pan, add the onion, leeks, carrots, and celery. Add a pinch of salt and sauté the vegetables until the onions begin to caramelize and the vegetables brown on the edges, 7-10 minutes.

Add the soaked mushrooms and the soaking water, browned beef, lentils, broth, sherry, thyme, bay leaves, a large pinch of salt, and several grinds of black pepper to the pot. Stir to combine everything and bring soup to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 90 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the barley in a large pot of water for 20 minutes. Then, drain the barley and set aside. After the soup has cooked for 90 minutes, add the barley to the soup and cook for 15 more minutes. Serve.


Calories per serving:

569 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Fiber Dairy Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Kosher

Daily value:



  • Fat 16g 25%
  • Carbs 51g 17%
  • Saturated 5g 25%
  • Fiber 9g 38%
  • Trans 0g
  • Sugars 7g
  • Monounsaturated 9g
  • Polyunsaturated 2g
  • Protein 57g 114%
  • Cholesterol 121mg 40%
  • Sodium 974mg 41%
  • Calcium 119mg 12%
  • Magnesium 144mg 36%
  • Potassium 2,007mg 57%
  • Iron 10mg 53%
  • Zinc 15mg 101%
  • Phosphorus 732mg 105%
  • Vitamin A 294µg 33%
  • Vitamin C 9mg 15%
  • Thiamin (B1) 1mg 47%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 56%
  • Niacin (B3) 15mg 74%
  • Vitamin B6 2mg 83%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 137µg 34%
  • Vitamin B12 5µg 84%
  • Vitamin D 0µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 2mg 9%
  • Vitamin K 33µg 42%
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