Old Fashioned Barley Soup

Old Fashioned Barley Soup


This reminds me so much of the barley soup that my grandfather used to make when I was a little girl. I was so happy to find this recipe as it takes me back to much simpler days and fond memories.

We just had a Nor’easter a few days ago and hopefully it’s the last storm of the season. I should think so, since we are heading into the second week of April! When my husband arrived home after working all day and braving the snowy drive home, he was greeted with the aroma of this hearty soup and garlic breadsticks in the oven. This soup is also wonderful when it is reheated as leftovers.


  • 1-2 pounds of stew meat, cut into tiny pieces
  • salt and pepper and steak seasoning spices (to taste), sprinkled on beef
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 mounded Tbsp of good quality beef base
  • 3 stalks of chopped celery
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 potatoes, diced small
  • 3-4 large carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 1 cup barley, rinsed


Generously add salt, pepper and steak seasoning to stew meat, after cutting it into tiny pieces.

When pot is very hot, add 1/3 of the stew meat and brown each batch. Remove to a plate when all batches are browned. If you add all the meat at once it will just steam instead of getting the browning that you want.

When all the meat has been browned, all it all back into the pot. Add 10 cups of water and 3 mounded tablespoons of meat base. (I use Better Than Boullion Beef Base in a jar)

Add the chopped celery, carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic. Rinse barley and add to the pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 hours with the lid on.

Enjoy a bowl (or two!)


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