Derek’s Beef and Barley Soup

Derek's Beef and Barley Soup
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2h 30 min
6 servings

Beef and barley is the king of soups! Slowly braised, melting beef and hearty toasted barley are made to go together.

Courtesy of Derek Bocking of Derek’s Kitchen.



lb(s) (454 g) cubed stewing beef (short rib or shoulder)
cup barley
cup red wine
cup carrots, peeled and chopped
cup celery, chopped
cup onion, thinly sliced
clove garlic, thinly sliced
cup brown stock
cup water
Tbsp tomato paste
Tbsp vegetable oil


Step 1

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pot. Add the onions and sauté until they just start to brown. Add the beef and sauté until well browned. Make sure the beef is well spaced so that it sears rather than steams. If you need more space, use an extra frying pan for beef that wont fit comfortably in the pot.

Step 2

Once the beef is well browned, deglaze with 2 tbsp red wine. Add the remaining vegetables, along with 1 tbsp vegetable oil and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the rest of the red wine and let simmer. Let the wine reduce to the point that it coats the meat and vegetables.

Step 3

Add 4 cups brown stock and enough water to make sure everything is well covered – about 2 cups. Stir in 1 tbsp tomato paste. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat down to a very gently simmer. Let simmer for at least 2 hours. Feel free to let it go for up to 6 hours, as it will only get better and better the longer it goes. Keep adding water occasionally, a half cup at a time, to keep the broth from drying out.

Step 4

While the soup is simmering, toast the barley. Place the barley in a large skillet in one even layer then place in a oven pre-heated to 350ºF. Toast the barley until it is nice and brown – about 7 minutes. Give the pan a shake a couple of times to make sure the barley toasts evenly.

Step 5

Once the soup has simmered to the point that the beef is nice and tender, add the toasted barley. Simmer for 30 minutes, until the barley is plump and soft, but still just a little al-dente.

Step 6

Garnish each serving of soup with a few young celery from the centre of the stock.

Rate Recipe

My rating for Derek’s Beef and Barley Soup