This Homemade Beef Barley Soup is made from scratch with an amazing depth of flavor from aromatics, beef, vegetables, wine, and stock.

We were in the midst of a bitterly cold stretch and I was making a meal for a dear friend. It was the perfect day to make a comforting Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe.

Homemade Beef Barley Soup in a white soup terrine

Homemade Beef Stock

I’ve made chicken stock numerous times, but never beef. There are some decent chicken broths and stocks on the market, but the beef versions seem to fall short. I knew I’d have to start the soup recipe off with a flavorful base, so bought 4+ pounds of bone-in chuck roast to start the process. Bones add wonderful flavor to broths and stock, so make sure to get a roast with a bone.

How to Make Beef Barley Soup

  • Once the broth was made, strained, and defatted, it was time to continue layering the flavors.
  • A mirepoix of onions, carrots, and celery was sauteed before mushrooms, then broth, shredded beef, herbs, and barley were added to the mix.
  • Simmered till the barley was tender and all the flavors married beautifully, I can truthfully say this was one of the most magnificent soups I’ve ever tasted. Pure comfort.

Homemade Beef Barley Soup in a white basketweave bowl garnished with thyme

Recipe Tips

This was a time-consuming dish to make since it is totally from scratch. But if you’re ever stuck at home during the winter due to inclement weather, it would be the perfect opportunity to make a batch of this terrific Beef Barley Soup. You’ll love it!

  • Allot a good chunk of your day to make the broth and soup. Or make your broth on one day and finish the soup recipe on another!
  • You can also chop all your onions, and vegetables ahead of time and keep them refrigerated.
  • The layering of flavors is key; the homemade broth, the aromatics and vegetables, the marbled beef, and the herbs all play a key role.
  • Alcohol is a flavor enhancer, so unless you have a dietary restriction, don’t skip the red wine in the broth. The alcohol will evaporate during the cooking process.

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Homemade Beef Barley Soup | Worth the time and effort for this extraordinary soup!

Homemade Beef Barley Soup Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Yield 8 servings

Fabulous beef barley soup made from scratch


For the beef stock:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 pounds bone-in beef chuck, cut into 3-4 pieces
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • ½ cup canned tomatoes, diced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Shredded meat from chuck roast, obvious fat removed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • Homemade beef stock
  • 2 cups shredded cooked beef (from the chuck used for stock)
  • Chopped fresh parsley or thyme for garnish


For the beef stock:

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches if needed, brown the meat and onion on all sides. Set the browned meat and onions aside.
  2. Add the red wine to the pot and cook, using a spoon or spatula to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pot, till wine reduces a bit.
  3. Return the meat and onions to the pot, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook till they sweat and release 1/2-3/4 cup juices. Add 2 quarts of water and the salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and allow to simmer very gently, with the lid partially off. Simmer till meat is tender, about 2 hours.
  4. Strain broth and discard onions. Remove meat and set aside to cool.
  5. Let the stock cool, then strain again and pour into a fat separator. Let stand and pour off stock and discard fat. Alternatively, skim the fat off the top of the stock. I elected to also chill the stock overnight and remove the small amount of congealed fat remaining.
  6. Shred meat, removing excess fat. Reserve at least 2 cups for the soup.
  7. To make the soup, add oil to a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions, carrots and celery and cook till they begin to soften. Add the mushrooms and cook till they soften and any liquid released evaporates.
  8. Add the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, beef stock, shredded beef and barley to the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the barley is tender, about 45-50 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.


The calorie count may be inaccurate as you will not necessarilly need all the beef from your chuck roast.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 620Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 237mgSodium: 481mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 78g occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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