Beef Barley Soup

Beef Barley Soup
Beef Barley Soup

This Beef Barley Soup uses leftover pot roast for a quick delicious meal that you can have on the table in under an hour!

I absolutely love that my family loves soup, because so do I.  Even more than they do because I know how simple it really is to make.  Although I occasionally make cream soups (Hello clam chowder! Your moment is coming!), I really love the ease of a broth based soup.  The formula is simple; broth, some vegetables, fresh herbs depending on the cuisine, maybe some diced tomatoes, and a meat of your choice.  Or not meat, if you’re so inclined.  Given the right combination of ingredients, a quick soup can taste like it has simmered for hours!

Beef Barley Soup

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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 cup cooked beef, cubed (I used my leftover Italian Pot Roast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes. You can also sear off similar sized cubes of stew meat or your favorite cut of beef.)
  • 6 cup beef broth
  • 14.5 oz can of diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped (if using dry oregano, use 1 tsp. It's much stronger)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup dried barley
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Use a pinch of salt and pepper when sautéing the vegetables and then taste and adjust salt and pepper, if needed, before serving.


  • In a large pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions in the olive oil for a minute or two. Add the rest of the vegetables and continue sautéing until everything is just softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  • Add in the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, chopped oregano, and fire roasted tomatoes and stir well. Allow to come to a boil over medium heat.
  • Once the soup has come to a boil, add in the barley. It's really tiny now, but let the soup simmer for 30-45 minutes and it will be delightfully fluffy and will add a bit of texture to the soup. If you are using freshly seared meat add it in now and let it simmer in the soup about 10-15 minutes. You don't want to cook it for too long or it will overcook. If you are using leftover pot roast it just needs to warm through. It's thoroughly cooked and just needs a few minutes.
  • Finally, just before serving, stir in the baby spinach. It will wilt immediately and that's it. Soups on! Ladle out a generous bowl for everyone and maybe serve it with a little bread on the side. My milk bread rolls are perfect for dipping in the broth! Note to my plant-based eaters: This makes a delicious vegetarian soup too! You can substitute the beef broth for vegetable broth (it has a richer flavor than you may think!), and skip the worcestershire (there's anchovy in it). Skip the beef and add any and all vegetables you want! This simple recipe serves as a great starting point for a great variety of tasty soups, so go wild! Happy Souping!

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