This comforting barley soup with ground beef and vegetables is the perfect meal for cold winter evenings. Filled with fiber, protein and vitamins, it's excellent for keeping you healthy while also having a satisfying flavour. We add barley, minced beef and diced vegetables to a pot along with beef stock, and boil until the barley and vegetables have cooked through. It couldn't be simpler!
Barley soup ingredients
The best soups have simple ingredients, and this soup with barley is no exception. Here is all you need:
- Minced beef. This can also be substituted with other minced meat, chicken pieces or sliced sausage. You can also omit it altogether for a vegetarian version of the soup.
- Pearl barley. A lovely and hearty grain that's perfect for a filling and cheap meal.
- Vegetables. I will list the vegetables I use, but you can also just use the ones you prefer, or whatever is left in your fridge.
- Beef stock. Or vegetables stock, stock cubes or simply water with seasoning. I love making my own stock when I can, but this stock from Amazon is a great alternative!
What is barley
Barley is a type of grain. It’s similar in shape and size as pearl couscous, bulgur or rice, but it has a hearty flavour.
In this recipe we use pearl barley. This is not considered a whole grain, but it is very rich in fiber and incredibly filling.
How to make barley soup with ground beef
Barley soup with ground beef could not be easier! Start by browning the mince, then add diced onion and garlic. Saute until soft, then add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have reduced in size. Add the barley and stock, bring it to a boil and leave it to simmer for 15 minutes. Add diced vegetables. Allow the soup to cook until the vegetables have cooked through and the barley is soft, approximately 10-20 minutes depending on how thick you cut the vegetables.
How to brown mince
Browning the mince before adding the other ingredients really enhances the flavour of both the mince and the liquid. Browning mince simply means cooking it until it turns brown in colour. See how to do it here.
Storing leftover barley soup
Store leftovers in airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze leftover barley soup for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen soup in the fridge overnight, and reheat in a pot or the microwave until piping hot.
The barley tends to absorb the majority of the liquid, so I recommend adding more stock or water before reheating leftovers.
The main components of a satiating soup
A great soup should taste great. If it’s the main part of your meal, it should also be filling. These are the elements that will make any soup satiating and perfectly comforting:
- Fiber - keeps you full longer, and is great for digestion. You can find fiber in whole grains and vegetables.
- Protein - an important part of your diet. Protein fills you up in a good way, and you can find it in meat, legumes, seeds, nuts, eggs and dairy products.
- Liquid with great flavour. Liquid is what makes a soup, and we have to make sure that it tastes amazing.
- Ingredients with different colours. Colorful foods have plenty of vitamins, and eating a variety of colours ensures that you get a wide range of all the goodness you need. Try to eat them while they are in season!
More hearty soup recipes
- Bacon and lentil soup
- Apple and parsnip soup
- Creamy vegetable soup with tortellini
- Kale and chickpea soup with ham
Barley Soup With Ground Beef And Vegetables
- 500 g lean beef mince
- 250 g pearl barley
- 250 g mushrooms
- 400 g carrots
- 1 medium broccoli
- 2 celery sticks
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 litre beef stock (or 2 l water + 4 stock cubes)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Finely dice the onion and garlic. Peel and dice the other vegetables in bite sized pieces. Try to cut the vegetables in similar sized bits to make sure they have the same cooking time.
- Heat the oil in a large pot. Brown the mince, then add diced onion and garlic. Saute until soft.
- Add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have reduced in size.
- Add the barley and stock, bring it to a boil and leave it to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add diced vegetables. Allow the soup to cook until the vegetables have cooked through and the barley is soft, approximately 10-20 minutes depending on how thick you cut the vegetables.