Vegetable Beef and Barley Soup

Beef and Barley Soup
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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
533 Calories
16g Fat
64g Carbs
34g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 533
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 87mg 29%
Sodium 1070mg 47%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 10g 37%
Protein 34g
Calcium 255mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Vegetable Beef Soup includes tomatoes, carrots, and some other vegetables, along with stewing beef and V-8 juice. Barley adds texture to the dish and makes it satisfying enough for lunch or dinner. 

Use lean stewing beef or round steak in the recipe, and feel free to change the vegetables to suit your family's tastes. Add some shredded cabbage, diced rutabaga, or sliced sauteed fresh mushrooms. Diced potatoes are a good option as well, and can be used to replace the barley. Or omit the pearl barley and add 1/4 cup of long-grain rice about 25 to 30 minutes before the soup is ready. You might even consider a different grain, like farro or sorghum grain.

Replace the garlic powder with two cloves of minced garlic if you'd like. Add the fresh garlic to the onions and cook for about 1 minute before adding the carrots and celery. Replace the canned green beans with frozen (thawed) green beans, or replace them with some thawed mixed vegetables. Frozen lima beans are an excellent choice as well, but they take longer to cook; defrost them under cold running water and add them about halfway through the cooking time.

The soup is good with ground beef, too. Just brown the ground beef thoroughly with the onions and then drain it well. If you like more liquid in your soup, add a cup or two of water or unsalted beef stock.

The soup is easily doubled or tripled if you're serving a crowd or taking it to a potluck dinner. 

Serve the soup with crusty French bread or bake a homemade no-knead bread or bread machine loaf.


  • 1 pound of beef chuck (stewing beef)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 medium carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans tomatoes (undrained)
  • 4 beef bouillon cubes (or equivalent base or granules)
  • 1 (12-ounce) can V-8 juice
  • 1/4 cup pearl barley
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (15 oz.) can green beans, drained
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cut the beef into 1/2 inch cubes or bite-size pieces.

  3. Peel the onion and cut it into 1/4 inch dice.

  4. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat.

  5. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the beef cubes and chopped onion and cook, stirring, until the beef has browned and the onion is tender.

  6. Meanwhile, peel the carrots and slice thinly. 

  7. Add the carrots and celery to the beef mixture along with the tomatoes, beef base or bouillon, V-8 juice, barley, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Cover and cook for about 1 hour.

  8. Add the drained green beans about 10 minutes before the soup is ready. 

  9. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper, as needed.

  10. Enjoy!