Beef Barley Soup

A hearty soup with beef, mushrooms and barley (you can also use rice if you can't find barley) perfect for enjoying in large bowls, in front of a roaring fire.   It's an easy dish to put together, but takes a bit of time, so make this early in the day (or the day before).


Beef Barley Soup

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Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6



  • 3 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 lb. meaty beef or veal shanks
  • 8 cups of beef broth (you can also use chicken broth)
  • One 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup barley
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. fresh cremini mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 Tbs. sour cream (optional)


  • In a stock pot, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium high. When the olive oil is nice and shimmering, add about 2/3 each of the onions, carrots and celery. Cook for about 2-4 minutes, until the onions start to soften. Be sure to stir often and adjust the heat if the onions start to brown too quickly.
  • Add the shanks and add enough broth to completely cover the shanks. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming often to remove any foam that forms on the surface. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Then add the tomato sauce and barley, cover partially and continue to cook over low heat until the barley is tender, about 1 hour more.
  • While the soup is cooking, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the remaining chopped onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until pale gold, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Raise the heat to high, add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring often, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, reduce the heat to medium and sauté until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper and 2 Tbs. of the dill.
  • Remove the shanks from the pot and, when cool enough to handle, cut the meat from the bone. Chop and reserve the meat; you should have about 1 1/3 cups.
  • Add the mushroom mixture and the reserved meat back to the pot and stir to heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Ladle into warmed bowls and sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbs. dill and the parsley.
  • Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream, if using.
Have you made this recipe?I'd love to know! Leave a comment or recipe rating and tag me @amenuforyou on social media!

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