Beef Barley Soup (Stovetop or Pressure Cooker)

Beef Barley Soup (Stovetop or Pressure Cooker)

When it's frigid outside, making soup is a great way to warm up the house and create a positive atmosphere. I always keep a variety of rice, beans, and peas, including barley, in my dry pantry. Additionally, our refrigerator always has plenty of vegetables, including the basics like carrots and celery. This makes it easy to prepare a delicious meal quickly. Our canned goods pantry is also well-stocked with items like tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, beans, and various types of stock. While this dish was easy to put together because of our stocked goods, it did take a while to cook the stew meat to make it tender. However, the result was worth the effort, creating a healthy and delicious meal that was uplifting.

Time-Saving Method in the Pressure Cooker: If you're thinking of making this soup in a pressure cooker, there is a risk of the barley overcooking. However, if you still want to try this method, follow these steps: first, brown the meat as the recipe suggests, then deglaze the pot with the stock, add the bay leaves, and pressure cook for 15 minutes. Once done, let it release pressure naturally for 15 additional minutes. Next, add the chopped vegetables, barley, and all the listed ingredients. Set the pressure cooker to the sauté setting and cook for 20 minutes. Towards the end of the timeframe, taste the barley to check for texture. We prefer the barley to have a slight bite, which is called "el dente". However, it is up to you what texture you want your barley and vegetables to be. So, feel free to experiment and make this soup to your liking. Enjoy! 😊

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  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Lbs stew meat
  • 1/2 Teaspoon each of salt, pepper, and onion powder for dry rub for beef
  • 1 Medium to large white or yellow onion diced
  • 2-3 Carrots cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 2-3 Stalks celery cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 3/4 Cup Barley (standard not quick cook)
  • 2-3 Cloves roughly chopped garlic
  • 3 Quarts of beef stock
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1/3 Cup Worcestershire  sauce
  • 1/2 Can tomato paste (3 oz)
  • 1 Can tomatoes chopped
  • 4-5 Sprigs of thyme or 1/2 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 Jalapeno diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation - 10 minutes Serving 6-8

Stovetop: Cook Time - 90 minutes

Pressure Cooker: Cook Time - 45 minutes

Instructions for the stovetop method.

  1. To begin, cut the stew meat into small cubes if it is not already pre-packaged that way. Then, pat dry the meat with a paper towel and place it in a bowl. Add the dry rub to the meat and let it sit for at least five minutes.
  2. Next, heat up the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium/high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, making sure to do this in two batches to prevent the pan from being overcrowded. Once the meat has browned, remove it from the pan.
  3. After that, sauté the onions and carrots together with a pinch of salt. This will allow the vegetables to reduce some of their moisture and add additional flavor to the stew.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and bring the liquid to a simmer. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Cover the pot with a lid and stir periodically throughout the cooking process. This will take approx 90 minutes depending on the dice size of the meat.
  5. Now it is time to check the texture of the meat and barley and adjust the salt and pepper if necessary. Serve this flavorful hearty dish. It is delicious on its own or paired with crusty bread and a full-bodied glass of red wine.