Beef · Recipes · Slow cooking · Soup

Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup


This soup is a square meal in a bowl. You should really make this soup. It made my babies practically lick their bowls and my husband pledge his eternal love forever more. OK, so I invented that one, but my kids DID devour their portions. Another reason you should make this soup? It is a proud participant in my ever growing repertoire of how-to-get-tasty-dinner-on-the table-without-missing-my-afternoon-nap recipes. Afternoon naps are capital. Just refer to your closest kindergarten teacher for further information.

Note to self – double the recipe next time around.

Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup

beef and barley soup


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 to 1.5 lb (500 to 750 gr) beef stew cubes
2 medium carrots
2 celery stalks
1 medium zucchini (or substitute for  a red pepper, 1 cup broccoli florets or any other vegetable that rings your bell)
4 cups beef stock
1 large can of diced or crushed  tomatoes (800 ml/28 oz)
1/2 cup barley
1/2 tsp dry thyme
1/2 tsp dry rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped


1. Place chopped onion in a microwave safe shalow dish, mix in 1 Tbsp olive oil and microwave for 2 minutes, just until the onions are translucent. Like so:

2. With a sharp knife, chop the meat cubes into smaller, bite size cubes. Like so:

3. Dice the vegetables into similar bite size pieces.

4. Place meat and vegetables in slow cooker

5. Mix in all the rest of the ingredients (except the parsley) and cook on high for about 3 hours, or on low for about 6 hours. Add chopped parsley and serve, decorated with some more parsley if desired.

6. Optional: if you want to add some richness to the soup, mix 1 Tbsp butter with 1 tsp flour and microwave for 1 minute. Pour the mixture into the  hot soup and mix well.

31 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup

    1. Hi there J,
      I’ll try and work on it. In the mean time, you could always cut and paste the recipe into a word processor and delete the photos. Sorry for the extra step.

      Thank you!



    1. Hi Ruth,
      I have several sizes of slow -cookers. The rule of thumb is to always fill the cooker to at least half capacity, preferably even 2/3 of it. You should be fine with your 4 qt cooker.

      good luck!


  1. I’ve got to get this recipe, sounds so good, but I can’t find where to print the recipe. I’m using Internet Explorer. Can you help me?


  2. I did enjoy this soup when it was finally done, but have a few comments (not critizisms). First it doesn’t fit in a 4 qt. cooker. I tried that first, then switched to a 6 qt. I had the time so decided to cook it on low for 6 hours. When it should have been done, it was only about half cooked, vegetables still raw and meat not done. I changed it to high which then had to cook for another hour and a half. Granted, I’ve had my 6 qt for many years, so that could be the problem, but I’ve used it in the past few months and haven’t had a problem. Also, I would increase the amount of barley. I will try it again sometime cooking it on high and using more barley. Other than that, it is quite good.


  3. all you have to do is copy whole recipe, paste it to a word doc. and delete unwanted parts, save and print. hope this helps


  4. Beef in a slow cooker on high takes a lot longer than 3 hours to be tender. More like 6+. My grandmother use to make this all the time – on the stove of course. 🙂 Too much barley makes it starchy. If you make enough for leftovers try cooking the barley separate and then add it to the dish when you serve. That way it doesn’t get bloated and soak up all your juice.


  5. For those of you who are wanting to print the page…just right click your mouse and “Save the Page” to your documents (be sure to enter the name of the recipe so you can find it) and then after it is saved you should be able to print the recipe from the documents!


  6. When I make beef barley soup I like to us beef oxtail kidney beans, & butter. please help me to print this recipe out. Thanks from Colorado


  7. Making this tonight with my other veggie kale. Followed most of recipe except my tomatoes had oregano and thyme in them so I limited my seasonings. Also used 1 cup barley and added 2 cups water. I am going to serve with some basic rolls that are rising right now. Cooking on low in my rival so on our first snow day, soup should be ready around 5 when everybody gets home for the day.


  8. I prefer not to have to include the pictures when printing. It uses a lot of ink and paper that I don’t need. Is there any way to just print the recipe easily

    Thanks, Phyllis


  9. Thank you so much for this recipe! It has become a staple during the winter months here in Long Island. It’s a family favorite!


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