Introduction: Beef and Barley Soup

About: I'm and engineer and like making things

I don't like going out at lunch, but also don't want to be packing lunch every evening for the next day. I found the solution is to make a large batch of soup/stew and take it in for the week. I have a triple crock-pot which I use to make two batches of different soups at a time. I usually use the third pot to make dried beans which I mix with the soup when done. Don't worry, a single crock pot works fine and the beans are optional.


  • 2 lb beef roast
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2-3 stalks of celery
  • 1/3 cup pearled barley
  • 1 lb navy or northern beans (any beans will do, but I like the white beans in this soup) - Optional
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp each:
    • Thyme
    • Rosemary
    • Celery Seed
    • Marjoram
  • 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 32 oz box Swanson Beef broth

Step 1: Add Dry Ingredients to Pot

Put the barley and mushrooms into the pot. I make two batches at once (16 oz mushrooms shown).

1/2 teaspoon of rosemary is shown, measure all like that.

Step 2: Cube and Brown Your Beef

Cut your beef into appx 2 inch cubes. Make sure you count them as you'll fish them out later to shred them.

Sprinkle with black pepper.

Brown it it pan. Make sure you get the edges

This is important, as this seals everything in for cooking and it comes out so tender and good!!

Step 3: Dice Your Veggies and Sautee Them

I like a little substance in my soup/stew, so I am for pieces about a centimeter in size.

When it's nice and tender, add it to the crock pot.

Add about a Tbsp of olive oil to the pan and sautee until tender. I used the instant pot as it is easier to clean, but you already have a dirty pan from browning the meat...

When it's nice and tender, add it to the crock pot.

Step 4: Add Liquid Ingredients and Cook

Add the Worcestershire sauce (Just pour it onto the spoon over the pot), beef broth and can of tomatoes to the pot. Heat on low for 5-6 hours.

Step 5: Optional: Make Your Beans

I like this with the beans. Gives it a lot of substance, but it's good without them too.

Usually I make them in the extra crock pot:

  • Place beans in pot (no soaking)
  • Cover with water, 1-2" above the beans.
  • Cook in crockpot 12 hours on low.
  • Drain and add to stew when ready.

Note: I like cooking my beans separately because salt makes them come out tough.

I was short on time, so I used the instant pot:

  • Place beans in pot (no soaking)
  • Cover with water, 1-2" above the beans.
  • Cook in pressure mode: 55 minutes
  • Use slow release method.

If you use the instant pot start it about 90 minutes before you're stew is done.

Step 6: Shread Your Beef

Fish out the beef cubes from the pot and shred them with 2 forks. They should just fall apart. (sorry, forgot to take pic - that's chicken from last week's lunch)

Add the shredded beef back to the pot and mix in the beans.

Comfort Food Challenge

Participated in the
Comfort Food Challenge