This Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup is an easy slow cooker meal that is packed with flavor and meaty goodness. It’s just the soup recipe to make when temperatures drop.
Disclosure: This post for Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup is sponsored by Holland House Cooking Wines. Thank you for supporting brands that make Food, Folks and Fun possible.
This Beef and Barley Soup packs a lot of flavor! This is due to the layering of flavors — sautéed meat and veggies, tomato paste, Holland House Red Cooking Wine, beef and bone broth, and finally a dash of Worcestershire sauce. All of these elements together make for a flavorful dish that highlights the stars of the soup: beef and barley!
I love using Holland House Cooking Wines in my recipes because they enhance any dish. Sometimes slow cooker recipes can be a little flat or one-note, but not when I use Holland House Cooking Wines. I find they really elevate each recipe.
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- Swap out ½ cup of broth in any slow cooker recipe for Holland House Cooking Wine to enhance the flavor!
COOK’S NOTE – BEEF AND BARLEY SOUP:
- Before you sauté the meat, you need to make sure that the pan is super-hot (when you see little wisps of smoke, it’s ready), and you need to pat the meat dry on all sides. Both of these things will help to get a nice sear on the meat. Sear=flavor, and we want a lot of flavor in this beef and barley soup!
- Bone broth has become a popular ingredient, and you can easily find it at most grocery stores. It adds a lot of meaty flavor to the soup. If you can’t find bone broth, or simply don’t want to use it, then use another 4 cups of beef broth.
- If you’re short on time in the morning, then prep this recipe through step 2 the night before. Cover the slower cooker insert, and keep it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning proceed with step 3.
- Leftover soup can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Simply reheat soup on the stovetop. You will probably need to add a little water to it, because the barley soaks up the broth while it sits.
- I like serving it with some nice crusty bread and a simple salad.
- This beef and barley soup will serve 10 people, so feel free to halve the recipe or freeze half for later!
- If you make the full recipe, you will need to use a slow cooker with the capacity of at least 7.5 quarts.
- 3 pounds stew meat, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped fine
- 1 medium fennel bulb, chopped small with green parts discarded
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup Holland House Red Cooking Wine
- 1 quart (4 cups) beef broth
- 1 quart (4 cups) beef bone broth
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup pearl barley
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley, plus more for serving
- Using paper towels, pat beef dry (you need the meat dry to get a nice sear) and season with salt and pepper. Heat large pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon oil until just smoking. Brown half of meat, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer meat and juices to slow cooker insert, and repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and rest of meat.
- Keep heat at medium-high, add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, onions, fennel, mushrooms, and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms have released their moisture and vegetables are softened, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer vegetables to slow cooker insert.
- Add wine, broth, tomatoes, barley, tomato paste, and thyme to slow cooker insert. Cover slow cooker and cook until meat is tender; LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours. 10 minutes before serving, ladle off fat from surface, and stir in Worcestershire sauce and parsley. Cover and cook 10 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls, and garnish with parsley, serve.