I’m obsessed with this Beef Barley Soup! It’s hands down my new favorite soup! I got the recipe from my friend, Dani, last winter, and I’ve made it multiple times. I even used it as my go-to dinner for those who needed a meal last winter. Every time I made it, I would forget to take pictures, or it would be too dark to get decent ones. So it has taken me almost a year to get this stellar recipe posted for y’all. Run–don’t walk to the store–to get these ingredients, especially if it is a chilly day in your neck of the woods. You are going to LOVE this soup! If you love soups with barley, next try my Vegetable Beef Soup with Barley and Kale.
The secret that takes this soup up a notch is using half ground beef and half Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage. It adds the perfect flavor and hint of spice. It gives it the type of flavor that makes you want to go back for another bowl and another bowl.
Because the soup is made with barley, it continues to suck up the broth as it sits. It makes it almost stew-like. It is a very hearty meal. We love to serve it with hard rolls or breadsticks. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Oh, and I almost forgot. It also tastes awesome served with just a little shredded cheese on top that melts right in as you stir up your bowl. YUM!
More Soup Recipes You’ll Love!
- Classic Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles
- Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
- Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli Soup
- Thick and Creamy Potato and Ham Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Thick and Creamy Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup
Step-by-Step Photos for How to Make The Best Beef Barley Soup
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Make The Best Beef Barley Soup
Can I use all ground beef?
Absolutely. If you do, it will change the flavor since you won’t be adding the sausage.
How much bouillon and water should I use in place of the beef broth?
The same amount of water as the beef broth–6-7 cups. Then add 6-7 bouillon cubes to the boiling soup mixture or 6-7 tsp beef bouillon powder/granules.
What’s a good substitute for the sweet potato?
If you are not a fan of sweet potatoes, you can use regular potatoes in its place. Make sure to peel and dice them. You want them to evenly cook and be done after simmering in the soup for 20-30 minutes.
Where can I find barley in the grocery store?
Barley can be found in the grains section by the rice and beans, the soup section, or the breakfast section. I would start out looking for barley near the rice and beans. Make sure to buy quick barley, though. I used Quaker quick barley for this recipe. (See the first step-by-step photo for reference.)
Can I use fresh vegetables instead of mixed frozen vegetables?
Yes. If you do, I recommend adding 4 cups worth at the same time you add the sweet potato. Then let the soup simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Do you recommend freezing the leftovers?
You can store the soup in the freezer for up to three months. First, let the soup completely cool, and then pour it into Ziploc freezer bags. Lastly, lay the freezer bags of soup flat in the freezer to save room for other frozen foods.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 cup quick barley
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 6-7 cups of beef broth (I use water and bouillon.)
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 lb bag of mixed frozen vegetables (The mix with peas, corn, beans, and carrots...sometimes I add a 2 lb bag for extra veggies.)
- Put the barley in a bowl and cover it with hot water. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes while you brown the meat.
- In a large deep pot, brown the sausage and beef together until no longer pink.
- Add the diced onion and sliced celery. Sauté until onions are translucent.
- Next, add the soaked barley, diced tomatoes, and bay leaf.
- Pour in the beef broth or water and bouillon.
- Bring to a boil, and then add the diced sweet potato. Turn the heat down, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Next, add the frozen mixed vegetables and let simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
- Serve and Enjoy! We like to serve it with hard rolls and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Yum!