Beef Barley Soup

Alrighty, I am back with another delicious and healthy fall soup recipe!

Halloween was a complete bust last night so I’m just going to hope for a better experience next year when we are living back up north…though actually, the past 2 Halloweens up there have been ravaged by devastating snow and rain storms, so I guess I should just cut my losses. With a day to get over it, I can look back on this Halloween and laugh at all our failures on one of my favorite days: 1. I was SO excited to carve pumpkins, bought 3 of them, and we ran out of time to carve them, 2. I bought 15lbs of candy excited for my first year of trick-or-treaters ever and only 1 crying little girl came to our door, 3. We resolved to just watch a super scary movie to redeem the evening and the movie was totally lame. So anyways, now we have a crapload of candy which will be reflected in my waistline soon enough if I don’t get rid of it.

At least I have some healthy things in my refrigerator to offset the imbalance of junk food in the house! This recipe is for a delicious beef barley soup that is filling and tasty but not super thick (if you would like it to be thicker like a stew, just add 1-2 Tbsp flour). This recipe comes from my favorite recipe blog Skinnytaste and the only thing I changed from the original recipe was adding 1 beef bouillon cube for a little extra flavor. Besides that, the recipe is perfect and got a thumbs up from hubby too. According to Skinnytaste, a 1.5 cup serving of this soup (which is filling enough for a full meal – even for dinner) is only 336 calories…plus only 5 calories for the added bouillon cube! And it contains 32 grams protein and 6 grams fiber! Woohoo!


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs lean beef round stew meat
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 – 2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2/3 cup dry barley
  • fresh ground black pepper


  1. [I would suggest chopping all your vegetables prior to starting this because it takes a while and your meat only takes a few minutes to brown] On medium heat, brown beef in olive oil in a large pot.
  2. Once meat is browned, add carrots, onion, celery, and garlic and stir until well combined.
  3. Add water, salt, beef bouillon cube, and bay leaves and turn up the heat to bring to a boil. [If you want a thicker stew-like soup, add 1-2 Tbsp flour] Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer covered about 1.5-2 hours to allow meat to soften and flavors to combine.
  4. Add barley and simmer another 30-35 minutes. Remove bay leaves, add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

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