Quick Beef & Barley Soup

Quick Beef & Barley Soup

17 Reviews
From: EatingWell Soups Special Issue April 2016

Quick-cooking barley and sirloin help get this beef-and-barley soup on the table in a snap—and it doubles easily. If leftovers get too thick in the fridge, add a little broth when you reheat it. Serve with crusty bread and a glass of malbec.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 8 ounces sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ¾ cup quick-cooking barley
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Sprinkle steak with ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the steak and cook, stirring often, until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, onion and celery to the pot and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add carrot and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add tomato paste and thyme and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are coated with the tomato paste and are beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add barley, broth, water, salt and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cook until the barley is tender, about 15 minutes. Return the beef and any accumulated juice to the pot and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vinegar to taste.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1½ cups
  • Per serving: 273 calories; 9 g fat(2 g sat); 5 g fiber; 29 g carbohydrates; 20 g protein; 20 mcg folate; 30 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 3,232 IU vitamin A; 6 mg vitamin C; 44 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 332 mg sodium; 647 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (65% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1½ starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat

Reviews 17

November 07, 2019
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By: Renee
Super yummy and so very easy! Will be making again & again. I did use the quick-cook barley but it still took extra 30(?) min or perhaps we like it softer than most? I added more barley 1 1/4 cup and bullion as others suggested so being my first time making it, I am not sure if it was needed. We will have left overs for a few days!
July 12, 2018
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By: Krystal Thompson
This is one of my top five eating well recipes. We make it all the time. Healthy but flavorful and you don't feel deprived. I add a little garlic (we love garlic) and also use New York strip because we typically double or triple the recipe for leftovers and the New York strip really adds a lot of rich flavor. This is a great recipe and makes you feel good to eat it.
July 17, 2017
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By: Irene
I added lentils with it it was hardy and quick I will make again.
October 09, 2016
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By: cdcn714
Will most def make again:)
December 08, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Very good and well worth making This is a good soup. I added one more cup of broth, so five total. Like another reviewer I also added more barley, 1 1/4 C total. It was really good. I'll totally make this soup again. Pros: quick, tasty, hearty
March 03, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
I made this soup... And I really found it very filling. I doubled the quantity just so I could have some for quick lunches if needed. But I will be making this soup again... Thank you.
December 30, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
This turned out great! Very flavorful and satisfying. It turned out that the barley I purchased was not quick cooking, so that added about 45 minutes cook time. Ultimately it was a good thing because the soup reduced further and had rich flavor. Definitely making again on a cold night!
November 30, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Yum I use beef stock rather than broth to add more flavor and egg noodles instead of barley. I also add a couple cloves of garlic and some frozen peas and corn - delicious! Pros: Quick & easy
September 28, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Hi, I made this soup as the recipe stated and found it to be very bland. So, I tweaked it a bit and it turned out amazing. First, I added a cup of Barley rather than 3/4. I also added beef bouillion cubes to taste as it wasn't beefy enough for me. Addtional barley and beef bouillion (Knorr) made it must better! I would recommend this recipe with tweaking!
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