This Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup is an easy crockpot meal perfect for fall or winter! Loaded with vegetables and tender chunks of beef.
See the step by step recipe video down in the recipe card.
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There is just nothing better for cold weather comfort food than this Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup.
It is cozy, hearty and loaded with flavor — plus the slow cooker means that it basically cooks itself!
This classic Beef and Barley Soup is another favorite, but sometimes you just don’t want to stand over the stove (or you can’t!). The crockpot is a great option for those busy days.
Why we love this Beef and Barley Soup:
- it’s thick and chunky — I don’t want to be hungry in an hour!
- It’s loaded with vegetables, which is one of my favorite ways to get them in
- it slow cooks most of the day, which means your house will smell amazing and you don’t have to worry about dinner at 5:00!
- it’s big on flavor — browning the meat adds a ton of flavor, so don’t skip that step if you’ve got a few minutes!
- it’s healthy! Full of protein, whole grains, fibre, vegetables all in a neat little delicious package.
Tips and Tricks for Making the best Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup:
- Normally, I’m not about adding extra steps to recipes. But in this case, I decided to brown my meat before adding it because it seals in the juices and I think you end up with a better texture to the meat after cooking for so long. It also adds extra flavour to the soup! You can skip this step if you need to.
- You can mix up the veggies here to suit your family’s tastes: You can leave some out or add in other favorites: peppers, spinach, mushrooms, kale, or throw in frozen peas or corn before serving.
- Sometimes slow cooker recipes can lack a little “oomph” by the end of cooking time — they are a little bland. You can add in a small amount of balsamic vinegar or even a little ketchup (don’t judge! It is sweet and tangy and savory) you really punch up the flavor! Feel free to taste and adjust as you go — everyone’s tastes are different!
What can I do with the leftovers?
We love soup leftovers! They usually reheat well and are perfect for quick lunches.
You can store leftover soup in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and in the freezer even longer!
Because this soup is made with barley, it freezes perfectly! You can freeze it all together or in individual servings in an airtight freezer-safe container or in zip-top freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months, and just place it in the fridge overnight to thaw before reheating.
More Slow Cooker Soups you’ll love!
- Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Chicken Stew — creamy and comforting!
- Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana — better than Olive Garden!
- Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup — made with 6 ingredients!
- Crockpot Potato Soup — thick and creamy.
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Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup Recipe + VIDEO
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 lb beef stewing meat
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 large carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 1/2 cup pearl or pot barley rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups low sodium beef broth
- fresh parsley for serving
- Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and let heat 1 minute.
- Brown meat in batches (allowing space around each piece) medium-high heat. Remove from pan and place in a 4-6 quart slow cooker.
- Add onions to the saute pan and cook over medium heat until translucent — they will pick up all the brown bits left by the meat! Stir in garlic, salt, Italian seasoning and pepper and cook 1 minute.
- Add the onions to the slow cooker on top of the beef, along with the carrots, celery, barley, tomato paste and bay leaves. Stir well, and then stir in the beef broth.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, until vegetables and barley are tender.
- Stir in fresh parsley as desired and season to taste. Serve.
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