Beef-Barley Soup


In this month of January 2016, it seems that just about everyone in the country, from coast to coast, is experiencing unusually cold weather. A few days ago, it snowed, and my entire neighborhood looked like a winter wonderland … and I live in the southern Arizona desert!

For many of us, there is something quite satisfying about a pot of soup simmering on the stove. Nourishing and comforting, what’s not to love about a great-tasting bowl of soup. This hearty beef and barley recipe is a meal-in-itself and paired with mozzarella biscuits is sure to warm you inside and out.

Barley is a wonderfully versatile grain with a nut-like flavor and a chewy texture. A cereal grain (member of the grass family), barley is a very good source of dietary fiber, manganese, which aids in the absorption of calcium and selenium, a necessary nutrient for immune function.



  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (Medium)
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 3 fresh sprigs
  • 1 can (6-ounce) tomato paste, plus 2 cans water
  • 3/4 cup  quick-cooking barley
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  1. Trim excess fat from meat and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
  2. Using a large pot, Heat the of olive oil over medium-high heat and cook the meat until brown, about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the onion and cook 2-3 minutes before adding the garlic.
  3. Stir in the carrots and celery. Add the beef broth, water and rosemary and then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook 1 hour until the meat and vegetables are tender.
  4. If fresh rosemary was used, remove the naked sprigs and discard.
  5. Stir in the tomato paste, fill the can with water (twice) and add to the pot with the barley and the salt. Bring back to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes until barley is done. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  6. Serve with bruschette or mozzarella biscuits.
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