Vegetable-Leek Beef Barley Soup

April 18, 2009.   9 Comments.   Categories Chilis/Stews, Slowcooker / Crockpot, Soups.  




Vegetable-Leek Beef Barley Soup

Today is April 18th and it snowed 3 feet at our home yesterday.  It’s cold and has been either raining or snowing most of the day.  A hearty soup was in order for this Spring storm. My husband loves beef and barley soup, so I made this today and it turned out quite well!  Enjoy…

  • 3.5 lbs boneless chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cubed 1/2 inch 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pat of butter
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups, crimini mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 1 red potato (optional, more if you love potatoes) cubed 1/2 inch
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup – dry red wine
  • 1 28 oz can – diced organic tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup  pearled barley
  • 4 cups organic chicken broth
  • 4 cups organic beef broth
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley

Heat large skillet on stovetop.  Pat beef cubes very dry (they will brown easier if dry on a pre-heated skillet)  Once skillet is hot, add olive oil (should be shimmering and lightly smoking)  Add beef and brown quickly on all sides.  Brown in two batches so that beef isn’t crowded during browning – add more olive oil if needed.  Place browned beef in slow-cooker.  

Add butter to same skillet.  The skillet should have remnants and browned bits from browning the beef.  Add onions, carrots, celery and leeks.  Saute until soft (about 7-8 minutes) Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add red wine.  Scrap up all browned bits from bottom of skillet.  Pour sauteed vegetables in slow cooker with beef.  If  adding mushrooms, use the same pan to saute’ mushrooms until soft and juices are rendered (about 10 minutes) then add to slow cooker.


Add tomatoes (with juices), pearled barley, thyme, broths and bay leaf to slow cooker.  Set to cook for 7-8 hours on low.  Cook until beef is very tender.  Add chopped parsley 20 minutes before serving.


  1. Hi Laura, I popped on here to see my favorite soup recipe and have a few questions for you. I previously(many years ago) asked what size crock you use. You mentioned an all clad cooker. I’m not the savvy cook you are,so please tell me the advantages over your average crock? I know your cooker looks beautiful! Also not being a red wine drinker, would a Cabernet sauvignon be appropriote ? If not can you make a suggestion? Thank you, I love your recipes & thank you so much for sharing!

  2. in turning this into a vegetarian dish, I don’t need a slow cooker. So, how long would I cook it? I guess as long as it takes to cook the barley. Right? And, how long would that take in just a stew pot? (I’m being too lazy to look it up just now.)

  3. Hi Mindy. I use a 7 quart Allclad slow cooker…

  4. What size crock pot do you recommend for this recipe?? Thanks :)

  5. What size crock pot do you recommend for this recipe? Thanks, it looks wonderful!

  6. complicated to me too… too many ingredients

  7. My mother in law just had a hip replacement and had very little to eat at the hospital. She loves barley so I made this soup for her and she and everyone else loved it. Thanks for sharing. This is a recipe I’ll be using again and again

  8. Oh no… it’s really not that complicated at all – give it a shot!!

  9. its complicated yet i bet its deliciouse

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