Beef and Barley Soup

Beef and Barley Soup

This rich and hearty Beef and Barley Soup with Mushrooms is the perfect fall soup. It has tender beef chunks, hearty vegetables, and barley, inside a rich and nutritious broth. 

This soup is the perfect soup for these cooler temperatures and can be served with a slice of homemade bread. 

Key Ingredients in Beef and Barley Soup with Mushrooms

beef and barley soup

Beef chunks and beef bones

You can use whatever beef chunks you have on hand, beef stew meat, beef round top, beef arm roast, etc. It doesn’t matter if the cut of meat is a little tougher because we are cooking the soup in the Instant Pot, so the meat will be very tender regardless. 


This beef and barley soup has chopped onions, garlic, celery, carrots, and lots of sliced mushrooms. I love to cook the vegetables before adding them to the soup because they add more flavor to the finished soup. If you don’t have the time to cook everything beforehand, I suggest at least cooking the onions and mushrooms. These taste the best when they are cooked beforehand!

Dried Barley

Barley thickens the soup, but it can easily overtake a soup, so you don’t want to add more than ¾ cup of dried barley. You also want to rinse your barley before you add it to the soup, sometimes there can be extra starch on it and you don’t want that in the soup!

Chicken or beef broth

Beef and barley soup is a rich and hearty soup that is usually made with beef broth. I almost never have beef broth on hand, so for this recipe, I use my rich and flavorful homemade chicken broth and a few beef bones. 

If you have beef broth, use it! If you don’t, it’s ok, because this soup will be absolutely delicious without it!

old fashioned vegetable beef barley soup

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Tools You May Need:

Instant pot

Large cast iron pot, for searing the meat and browning the veggies

Garlic press

Tongs, for flipping the meat

I hope you try this Beef and Barley Soup recipe soon! If you do, leave me a star rating, a comment, or tag me on Instagram (@themidwestkitchenblog) so I can see! Thank you for reading, and enjoy!

beef and barley soup recipe

Looking For More Soup Recipes?

The Best Chili

Instant Pot Chili

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Vegetable Lentil Soup

Rosemary Sourdough Bread

Easy Challah Bread

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quick beef and barley soup

Beef and Barley Soup

  • Author: Tonya | The Midwest Kitchen Blog
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2.5 hours
  • Total Time: 37 minute
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stove top



This rich and hearty Beef and Barley Soup with Mushrooms is the perfect fall soup. It has tender beef chunks, hearty vegetables, and barley, inside a rich and nutritious broth.


  • 1 lb beef chunks
  • ¼ cup ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 (16) oz package mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 cups homemade chicken broth, or beef broth
  • Beef bones, if you have them
  • ¾ cup dried barley

Optional: fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Rinse and dry the beef chunks with a paper towel. Heat a large cast-iron or stainless steel pot with a few tablespoons of ghee or vegetable oil. Fry the beef chunks with ¼ teaspoon of salt until they are nicely seared, 10 – 15 minutes total. Don’t crowd the pot, you may need to fry the meat in batches. Once the meat is seared, add it to a bowl and set it aside.
  2. Next, cook the sliced onions, chopped carrots, and celery in the pot with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cook until the vegetables are just starting to brown but are still a little firm. Set them aside.
  3. Add a little bit more oil to the pot, then add in the sliced mushrooms, with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cook the mushrooms until all the water from the mushrooms is gone and the mushrooms are brown, about 15 – 20 minutes. Add in the minced garlic, dried rosemary, and dried thyme. Mix everything together and cook for 1 minute to cook the garlic and to gently toast the herbs.
  4. Next, add the beef, vegetables, mushrooms, bay leaves, and beef bones (if you have them) into an instant pot with the chicken or beef broth. Seal the top of the Instant Pot, press the Meat and Stew setting, and cook on high pressure for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse and add the barley to the soup, after 1 hour and 30 minutes. Mix everything together, and cook the soup for another 30 minutes.
  6. The meat should be very tender, and the barley cooked through. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve with bread and fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Keywords: beef and barley soup, beef, barley, soup, fall soups, winter soups, beef and barley vegetable soup, beef and barley mushroom soup

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