Beef and barley soup

Beef and barley soup must be the king of hearty soups. A deep rich broth with complex flavours together with chunks of beef and plenty of barley for carbs makes this a balanced and tasty soup that works well as a course on it’s own.

Beef and barley soup


  • 1 kg chuck roast, cut into cubes
  • Handful beef bones
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 litres chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 200g pearl barley
  • ½ tsp Asian fish sauce
  • Handful parsley, chopped


  1. Season the beef with salt and pepper and brown the meat all over in a Dutch oven. Brown the meat in batches so that the temperature remains high.
  2. Remove the beef chunks from the pot and set aside.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery to the pot and stir, scraping up any brown bits left over from the meat.
  4. Remove the vegetables from the pot and set aside.
  5. Add the stock to the pot and heat, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom.
  6. Add the beef chunks together with the bones, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns.
  7. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow to cook for 1 – 2 hours, skimming off any scum that comes to the top.
  8. Remove the bones and herbs.
  9. Add the barley and reserved vegetables and cook for another 30 mins until the veg and barley are tender.
  10. Add more water if the soup is too dry and add the fish sauce and stir through.
  11. Check for seasoning, add parsley and serve.