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beef + barley soup

  • Author: The Clever Carrot
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 mins
  • Yield: 6-8


  • 1 lb. beef chuck steak (whole)
  • 2 leeks, white & light green part only
  • 1 c. carrots
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 10 oz. mushrooms (1 pack)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 c. butternut squash
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp. rosemary leaves
  • 1 heaped tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 c. pearl barley (I used quick cook)
  • 23 quarts of good quality beef stock
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper


  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley + sprigs
  • hot pickled chili peppers
  • parmesan cheese


  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil over moderate heat.
  2. Cut your beef into bite-sized cubes. Season with salt and pepper and dredge in flour, shaking off any excess as you go.
  3. Add the beef to the pot and brown on all sides (you might have to do this in batches). Using a slotted spoon, remove and transfer to a plate. Set aside.
  4. Roughly chop the first 6 vegetables and thinly slice your garlic.
  5. Saute the leeks, carrots, celery, and mushrooms until soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10-12 minutes.
  6. Add the rest of the vegetables, garlic, and rosemary leaves.
  7. Add the beef back to the pot.
  8. Pour in just enough beef stock to cover, about 11/2- 2 quarts. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer (lid on) for about 1 1/2 hours.
  9. Using a small ladle, skim away any fat on the surface. *See note below.
  10. Add the barley. Depending on what kind of barley you are using, cooking time will vary. I used the ‘quick cook’ variety which was ready in 10 minutes. Add more stock if necessary.
  11. Taste your soup. If the meat is very tender, it is ready.
  12. Add the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  13. Serve with parsley sprigs, hot pickled chili peppers, and parmesan cheese (if desired).


*If you are making this in advance, skim away the fat only after the soup has been refrigerated. It will solidify and float to the top, making it easier to remove.