The Best Beef and Barley Soup

3 minutes
October 3, 2022
Carole Jones

Today is my birthday…..and I am old.  Do you some need proof?  This morning when I got up, I couldn’t even remember how old I was, so there I was at 5:30 AM trying to do the following math problem:

2014-1972 = ?!?!
(the answer is 42, but shhhhh, don’t tell anyone!  By tomorrow, I won’t remember I’m that old, so it’s all good.)

As further proof that I am old and my brain is no longer functioning at it’s appropriate level, I present the best soup I have ever made.  You see, although my decrepit brain did recognize this as the best beef and barley soup I had ever tasted, it completely forgot that barley is full of gluten.  Gluten that makes me sick and miserable.
I ate two large bowls of it for dinner, then a hearty helping of leftover soup for lunch the next day.  By that night, the pain kicked in and I began racking my brain as to what it was that I had eaten.
Lightbulb! (please, use your best Gru voice)


So, for those who are lucky enough to devour this delectable soup unabated, get out your biggest bowls and spoons.  Oh, and a great crusty loaf of bread  for dipping.  You will be blessing my name between big bites of comforting heaven.
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The Best Beef and Barley Soup

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  • 1 Tb oil
  • 2 pounds beef short ribs
  • 2 medium leeks, chopped with white and light green parts
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 C beef broth
  • 1 C pearl barley
  • salt and pepper


1.  Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Generously season the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper.  Add them to the pot and brown them deeply on all four sides.  Remove the short ribs from the pan and set aside.
2.  To the fat drippings in the pot, add the leeks, carrots, onion, celery, mushrooms and garlic.  Cook until the vegetables soften and begin to brown, about 10 minutes.  Add the thyme and bay leaves, then return the short ribs to the pot along with the beef broth, 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper.  Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and allow to cook for 1 hour.
3.  Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of water and 1/2 tsp of salt to a boil.  Add the barley, reduce the heat and allow to simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
4.  Discard the bay leaves and skim off the fat on the top of the soup.  Remove the short ribs and shred the meat into bite sized pieces, then add the shredded meat to the soup.  Add the cooked barley and simmer for another 20 minutes.  Taste the soup and add some additional salt and pepper as needed.  I added around another teaspoon each of salt and pepper to mine at the end.

  • Author: Carole


  • Serving Size: 1/8th
  • Calories: 390
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 248mg
  • Fat: 23g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 80mg
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 27g
  • Cholesterol: 80mg

Carole Jones

Carole Jones is an Arizona-based cookbook author & food blogger. She's authored The 30 Minute Cooking From Frozen Cookbook and the self-published Take 5: Chicken e-cookbook. For the past 15 years, Carole has shared her culinary adventures cooking and baking for her six brutally honest children here on My Kitchen Escapades. Hot, crusty bread is Carole's love language, but her two adorable grandchildren are a close second. Yes, second. Don't judge.


10 years ago

Thanks Rayleigh! Bermuda….that sounds scrumptious right about now! Welcome home 🙂

10 years ago

This looks absolutely scrumptious! I just got back from my dream vacation and I’ve got to say the dining in bermuda is fabulous, but I am looking forward to a home cooked meal.

8 years ago

BEEF SHORT RIBS!!!!! Brilliant! I am heading to the store. Thanks!

8 years ago

It makes all the difference!

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