The average-Joe barley soup can already flex some serious flavor muscles when it comes to combating the chills of winter. But when it hits the gym, so to speak, it can positively bend steel bars! This Beefed-Up Barley Soup contains the same roasty, perfumed flavors of barley in a classic beef broth, only now it also features extremely tender and savory chunks of beef stew taking a luxurious bath. Toned up with some beloved garden vegetables, this Beefed-Up Barley Soup will be a hunk on your table that will have your tastebuds swooning!

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  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2/3 cup dry barley
  • ground black pepper, to taste


Step 1 –Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Step 2 –Add the beef, season it with the salt, to taste, and cook until browned evenly, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 3 –Once the meat is browned, add the carrots, the onion, the celery, and the garlic while stirring and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Step 4 –Add the water, the bay leaves, and an additional 1-2 teaspoons of the salt.

Step 5 –Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover.

Step 6 –Simmer the soup, covered, over low heat until the meat is tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes-2 hours.

Step 7 –Add the barley and season the soup, to taste, with the ground pepper and the salt.

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Step 8 –Continue to simmer the soup until the barley flavors have been fully immersed into the soup, about 30-35 minutes.

Step 9 –Remove the bay leaves and serve.