The weather might be getting warmer, but that doesn’t mean we have to put away our crock-pots or give up our cozy dishes for the season. How could we, when there’s recipes for things like this beef barley soup still to try?! If you’ve never cooked with barley before, you’re going to love it. The healthy grain is super-versatile, with a pasta-like consistency and rich flavor similar to nuts. You might know it from its use in fermentation of some of your favorite adult beverages, and its presence in this recipe gives a great flavor without having to add any beer to the soup. Perfect for the whole family! Watch how it comes together and give it a try!

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Serves 8 to 10
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

You’ll Need
– 1-½ to 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
– 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced into 1-inch pieces
– 4 medium carrots, diced into ½-inch pieces
– 1 small onion, diced small
– 3 stalks celery, diced small
– 6 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 quarts beef broth, divided
– 1-½ teaspoons dried thyme
– 1 – 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
– ¾ cup barley, rinsed
– Salt and pepper, to taste

How To

  1. Generously season the cubed beef with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add about half of the oil. Working in batches, sear beef on all sides, using more oil as needed. Transfer the seared beef to a 6-quart slow cooker.
  3. Return the skillet to the heat and add 1 cup of beef broth. Heat to a boil and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then add to slow cooker.
  4. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, diced tomatoes, barley and remaining beef broth to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  5. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with fresh parsley or thyme.

Easy and delicious! What do you think of it? Have you ever made a beef barley soup or stew before? Are there any other recipes where you love to use this healthy grain?