It’s rainy and gloomy in San Francisco today, which means I have soup on the brain.
This hearty Beef and Barley Soup is flavorful, filling, and the perfect cold weather meal! This recipe uses ground beef instead of chuck roast, which makes it ohhh so easy to prepare.
Beef and Barley Soup
- 1 large Dutch oven
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 soup ladle
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil I sub 1 tbsp of olive oil for rendered pork fat if I have it in the fridge
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 onion white or yellow; diced
- 1 cup carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 cup celery sliced
- 1 green pepper diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 6 cups beef stock
- ¾ cup uncooked pearl barley
- kosher salt to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and break into small pieces using a wooden spoon. Give the beef a generous sprinkling of black pepper and a little kosher salt. Cook the ground beef until it’s nicely browned, about 7-10 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce when the meat is cooked but not yet browned (about 5 minutes in), then continue browning.
- Add onion, carrots, celery, and green pepper to the pot. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent.
- Add garlic, tomato paste, paprika, oregano, and thyme to the pot and stir. Cook for 30 seconds until aromatic.
- Add the fresh tomatoes (plus their juices), and a ⅓ cup of the beef stock to the pot to deglaze all the little brown bits from the bottom.
- Add bay leaf and beef broth to the pot. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to medium. Add barley, cover with lid, and simmer for 30 minutes or until barley is cooked through. Make sure you give the soup a good stir occasionally so the barley doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. This is supposed to be a thick and hearty soup but feel free to add more water if needed.
- Taste; season with salt and pepper, if needed. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf before serving.
- Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional).