Warm Beef-Barley Soup on a Cold Day

It is mid-January in Wisconsin and the temps are hovering around 0 degrees. It is perfect soup weather.

This soup is hearty, healthy, and low points on WW. It is in high demand in our family, including by our adult children that have moved out.

Beef Barley Soup
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 30 mins

My husband first came up with this recipe over twenty years ago. It is our oldest daughter's favorite meal that he makes. (She has been after him to make a batch for months.) This latest version is only three WW points per 1-1/2 cup serving.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: barley, beef, soup, vegetable
Servings: 8
Calories: 128 kcal
Author: Carrie
  • 8 C Water
  • 6 oz Tomato paste typical small can size
  • 10 oz Beef Roast (or stew meat) cubed
  • 10 oz Potatoes diced
  • 10 oz Carrots diced
  • 1 large Sweet or Yellow Onion diced
  • 1 bunch Green Onions chopped
  • 3 stalks Celery chopped
  • ½ C Pearled Barley
  • 3 cloves Garlic (or 1 Tbs minced garlic)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • tsp Louisiana hot sauce (adjust to your preference)
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • Tbs Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
  • ½ tsp Salt (or to taste)
  1. Add water to your soup pot and set on the stove on medium heat.

  2. Except for the barley and the salt, prep the remaining ingredients and stir into the pot.

  3. Bring the soup to a low boil and turn the heat down to low/simmer. The soup should barely be simmering when the burner temp is right.

  4. Let the soup cook for two hours, stirring occasionally (every 15-30 minutes.)

  5. Taste and add salt as needed. 1/2 tsp seems to be about right for us, but it may vary wildly depending on what type/brand of beef base or bouillon you use.

  6. If you are using regular barley, add it now so it has plenty of time to cook. If you are using quick barley, let the soup cook for another 30 minutes, and then add the barley.

  7. After adding barley, stir every 10-15 minutes and keep simmering until the soup has been cooking for three hours.

  8. Makes about eight 1-1/2 C servings.

Recipe Notes

We find that 1 Tbsp of hot sauce is right for us, but adjust to your tastes.  We cut it back by half when we cook a batch for our daughter.

Like most soups, this one is even better when reheated the next day.

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