Crock Pot Beef, Vegetable, and Barley Soup

beef barley soup
Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images
  • 10 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 10 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 6
Ratings (11)

Serve this delicious and hearty soup with crusty bread or rolls and a tossed salad. The beef shanks on the bone add extra flavor to the broth. If you don't have beef shanks, use an extra 1/2 to 1 pound of stewing beef.

The vegetables are versatile as well. Feel free to add some sliced mushrooms, diced rutabaga, or parsnips to the soup.

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 pound of stew beef (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 or 2 meaty beef shanks
  • 2 cups carrots (sliced thin)
  • 2 ribs celery (with tops, sliced)
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 1 cup frozen cut green beans
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • Optional: 3/4 cup frozen lima beans
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 4 to 5 cups beef broth  (from cans, homemade, base, or bouillon)
  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas (thawed under cold running water)

How to Make It

Use a 5 to 6-quart crockpot for this recipe, or cut back on ingredients for a smaller pot.

  1. Add everything but the barley and peas to the crock pot. Add water to within 1 1/2 inches of the top and stir. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, or until the beef is tender. Remove the beef shanks to a plate and cut the meat from the bones. Discard the bones.
  2. Add the beef back to the slow crock pot along with the barley. Increase the heat to HIGH and cook for about 1 hour and 45 minutes longer. Add the thawed peas and continue cooking on HIGH for about 15 minutes longer, or until the barley is tender.

    Tips and Variations

    • Add 1 cup of frozen corn kernels along with the barley.
    • Freeze leftover soup in 1 or 2-cup individual portions.
    • Wrap a loaf of crusty bread and warm it in a 350 F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until warm. Serve with the soup.
    Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
    Calories 379
    Total Fat 6 g
    Saturated Fat 2 g
    Unsaturated Fat 2 g
    Cholesterol 42 mg
    Sodium 1,218 mg
    Carbohydrates 55 g
    Dietary Fiber 13 g
    Protein 28 g
    (The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)