Beef Barley Soup

This easy recipe for homemade beef barley is perfect for a cold winter day and an excellent way to use leftover roast beef. Hearty and delicious!

Beef barley soup is one of my favourite kinds of soup and I am not sure why, but I do not actually make it all that often. Whenever I do cook up a big pot of this soup, I vow to make it more frequently. You may often think of a hearty bowl of soup as a winter dish, but this beef barley works for me any day of the year!

I usually make this soup the day after we have a roast beef dinner. Leftover roast beef is ideal for soup and sometimes I cook up a prime rib or top sirloin roast, just so that I have an excuse to make this beef barley soup.

A bowl of soup with some saltine crackers for crumbling.

Barley is great for soup. It has a nutty texture and a great variation from rice, macaroni or diced potatoes in soup. I keep a container of dry pearl barley in the pantry for those soup day cravings.

Step by step photos for how to make homemade soup

How to make homemade soup

  • The first step to making this soup is to sauté the onion, celery and carrots in a large stock pot with butter.
  • While the veggies are cooking, you can dice up the beef. Cut them into small chunks. You can use either raw or cooked beef. I often make this soup when I have some leftover beef roast. It is an awesome way to use up the leftovers.
  • Toss the cut up beef in the stock pot and stir. Cook for another 6-8 minutes. 
  • Dump in a can of diced tomatoes (28oz), beef broth, water and seasonings. Bring to a boil and reduce heat so that the soup is cooking at a low rolling boil.
  • Dump in the pearl barley and continue to cook for 30-45 minutes.

Scooping a ladle of fresh soup out of a large stock pot

This soup will have a rich and silky broth and is hearty, packed with beef, carrots, onion, celery and lots of barley! There is a lot of soup in this pot and it will feed a crowd. It is so hearty that I would not serve this before a main course. Homemade beef barley soup is a meal in itself.

A spoonful of hearty soup that is perfect for a cold winter day.

Other soup recipes

Check out some of these other great classic soups!

Homemade Beef Barley Soup - easy recipe

A spoonful of hearty soup that is perfect for a cold winter day.
4.65 out of 5
34 reviews
Classic soup that is hearty and delicious with simple detailed instructions. Perfect for a cold day
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12


  • 1 cup onion , chopped
  • 1 cup celery , chopped
  • 1 cup carrots , chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups leftover roast beef or stewing beef , finely chopped
  • 7 cups water
  • 7 cups beef broth
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 2 whole bay leaves


  • In a large soup pot, cook onions, celery and carrots with the butter. Once the onions and celery are tender, about 6-8 minutes, stir in the beef.
  • Cook, stirring often, for about 6-8 more minutes.
  • Add the water, beef broth and diced tomatoes and seasonings. Bring to a boil and lower heat so that it is cooking at a low rolling boil.
  • Dump in the barley and continue to let the soup cook at a low rolling boil for 30-45 minutes. The barley should be fully cooked and the beef should be tender.


Per serving:

Calories: 318kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 37gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 1127mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3g

Nutrition Disclaimer


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Recipe Rating


  • 5 stars
    It’s a staple soup in my kitchen. Love it as does everyone else who tastes it.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    I’ve made this a couple of times now and I really like it. So glad I’d remembered to bookmark it!

    • Reply
    • Thanks! So glad you liked the soup!!

  • 5 stars
    Beef barley is my favorite soup and this recipe makes it so easy to do! Since it’s just two of us, I halved the recipe, except for the barley, still used a whole cup. I LOVE barley!

    Turned out very tasty. Thanks for the great recipe ideas!

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    here is my ingredients for our version of your soup.
    2 cups Onion (Cubed)
    2 cups Celery (Cubed)
    2 cups Carrots (Cubed)
    2 cups Potatoes (Cubed)
    1 cup Turnip (small Turnip, Cubed)
    1 cups Frozen Peas
    2 Chopped Sweet Peppers (Red & Green, Cubed)
    6 Mushrooms (Puree with Beef Stock)
    450 gm / 2 cup Pot Barley
    500 gm / 1 lb lean Ground Beef
    796 ml can of Crushed or Pureed Tomatoes
    3600 ml Beef Broth (Qty 4, 900ml Beef Broth)
    3 Tbsp Bovirl
    1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
    1 tsp Basil
    1 tsp Rosemary
    1 tsp Thyme
    2 Garlic Cloves
    2 tsp Course Salt / Soy Sauce / HP Sauce
    Your soup has enriched the lives of many who have tried the soup I make using your suggestions. I recently retired and due to health concerns I now have to do all the cooking in the house for my wife and myself.
    Your recipe is an absolute must use for the beginner and experienced home chef.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    While I use an instant pot for the cooking and I use 2 cups of each of the veggies and I use the raw Pot Barley for a fuller flavour.
    It is a great soup. I make int on a Sunday so it becomes our supper.
    The remainder is stored in 24 (2 cup) Pyrex containers and frozen.
    For a normal single serving I use 1/2 of each container and add one cup of water. Heat and serve for lunch. Many memories of my youth. I have also served the Beef & Barley Soup for business meeting with bread and cheese on the side.

    • Reply
  • Been making this recipe for ages. The best recipe, everyone loves it.

    • Reply
  • 4 stars
    I’ve made this soup a few times. This time I left out the can of diced tomatoes and it turned out perfectly.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    So delicious! I cut back on the water though as I didn’t use condensed beef broth.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Loved this simple delicious soup! Will keep this recipe. Thank you kindly! Cate

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    One of the best soups I’ve ever made. Husband says it’s a keeper. Very easy recipe to follow and everything was in my pantry or fridge so I didn’t have to go to the store for specialized ingredients. Many thanks

    • Reply

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