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Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup

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I am such a fan of breaking out my crock pot.  There’s something so comforting and special about a slow cooked meal.

I developed this beef and barley soup last week and can’t say enough about it.  It’s hearty and stick to your ribs delicious.  No worries if your husband or significant other says they don’t like soup for dinner, because this one has got all kinds of fabulous satisfying ingredients inside.

You’ll want to prepare for a little prep work for this one.   You’ll need to chop lots of gorgeous vegetables, however it’s all worth it, trust me :)

Let’s take a look at the process.

Here’s your line-up of ingredients.  I found my package of barley at Trader Joe’s but you can find barley at most grocery stores.

Let’s start by coating your beef pieces with our flour mixture then place into a hot pan.

Once the beef is browned, place into your crock pot.

Time to chop your veggies.

Saute your veggies in a nice big pot.

Add your garlic and pepper.

Some fresh thyme.

Transfer all those vegetables to your crock pot.

Add your beef broth.

Add your barley.

Add your salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce.  Give a good stir and close the lid.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours.

About an hour before soup is ready, stir in your fresh parsley.

Here’s what you get after about 4 hours.  Fabulous!

Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup

Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup Ingredients

  • 1 pound stewing beef
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced carrots, peeled
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 small jalapeno (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme leaves
  • 64 ounces reduced sodium beef broth
  • 8.8 ounces barley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Place beef pieces into a large ziptop bag. Add flour, salt and pepper. Shake to coat evenly.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Brown coated beef pieces on both sides until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer beef to 5 quart crock pot on high.
  3. In same skillet beef was browned, add 2 more additional tablespoons of olive oil. Saute carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, garlic and thyme. Cook and stir for about 10 minutes. Transfer to crock pot. Stir in beef broth, barley, salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce. Close with lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours. About an hour before soup is done, stir in fresh parsley. Serve with crusty bread.

Makes 8-10 Servings

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  1. 1

    Wow, it looks fabulous, Jenny! I’m a huge fan of our crockpot, too… I just always forget that it exists. Last year, I almost went an entire winter without using it. Doh!

  2. 2

    Today must be the day to post soups – I’ve seen so many I want to make! I’ve made something similar to this and love it. I’ll need to try your version too – can never have too many good soup recipes :)

  3. 3

    Mmmm I love a hearty soup like this to keep me warm in the winter. I will be trying this very soon!

  4. 4

    Perfect for out crazy cold weather right now!

  5. 5
    Julie Chiou says:

    this looks so hearty and comforting for a cold winter’s day! i love that it easily comes together in a crockpot too!

  6. 6

    Mmmm, this looks so nourishing, Jenny!

  7. 7

    Now this looks like a bowl of pure comfort food!

  8. 8

    This is the perfect meal for a nasty cold day (like today.) Going to check the pantry for barley….

  9. 9

    Pleaaaaaaaase let me live inside your mouth.

  10. 10

    I have been craving stew lately. The barley is perfect!

  11. 11
    Cheyenne Renard says:

    Great Job on the soup. Hope u are all well and happy. Where did you get the soup bowls, i love any thing with a nice edge. If you can remember where u purchased them also where to find a good crockpot ? I love the blog. Thank you Happy New Year to you all. Love Cheyenne XXX

  12. 12
    Emily says:

    I always love your photography. You document a cooking/preparation process so well. :)

  13. 13
    marla says:

    This soup looks wonderful Jenny! I could use some after skiing today :)

  14. 14
    naomi says:

    this looks fantastic, Jenny! i love that it’s a slow cooker recipe-easy!

  15. 15

    Beef stew is so comforting! Great recipe!

  16. 16
    Gaby says:

    Thomas would love this! So make it for us this week :)

  17. 17
    Caroline says:

    This looks so perfect for all the cold weather we’re getting!

  18. 18

    I make a beef barley soup just like this, and it is indeed yummy and filling. I especially like the mushrooms in the soup.

  19. 19
    Haley says:

    This looks fantastic, especially as the winter weather rolls back in on the east coast! Thanks for sharing!

  20. 20

    It’s snowing outside and this is just what I need to eat! Im so obsessed with my crockpot, I bought 3! I use them all the time, for main dish, then a side dish at the same time.

  21. 21
    Christie Ryan says:

    This looks amazing Jenny!Super cute bowls too! 😉

  22. 22

    You always come up with the best ideas! Love this one too!

  23. 23
    Ger says:

    I made this last night..all I can say is YUM! Thank you for this recipe!

  24. 24

    […] Thursday: Slow Cooker Beef Stew from Picky Palate […]

  25. 25
    Shira says:

    Hey Jenny,
    Love your site and recipes!!
    I would love to try this, I know it’s Summer, but I am starting a f/t job next week and looking for a repertoire of easy weeknight meals which my crock pot is so perfect for..
    Do you think I could brown the meat and chop and put the veg in the night before, then stash is fridge and then just turn it on in the morning?
    I won’t be browning meat in the wee hours of the AM :)
    Thanks so much!

  26. 26

    This is was just plain delicious. I made it for family and they asked for seconds and thirds. There are only a few carrots and grains of barley left in the bottom of the slow cooker. Definitely a keeper. I added just a touch of Tabasco instead of jalapeno–yum.

  27. 27

    […] think I found this recipe for Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup from the Picky Palate blog on Pinterest.You remember my binder busting at the seams with recipes. […]

  28. 28

    […] Spicy Chunky Vegetable Beef Chili {Yours, Mine, and Ours} Lasagna Soup {Mommy Hates Cooking} Beef and Barley Soup {Picky Palate} Vegetable Beef Soup {Add a Pinch} Stuffed Pepper Soup {What Megan’s Making} […]

  29. 29
    Katie says:

    Can’t wait to try this! Could I also cook this on low heat for a longer time?

  30. 30

    […] Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup – Picky Palate […]

  31. 31
    Jane says:

    Hi is there alternative to crock pot? Can i whip this up using a normal pot?

  32. 32
    Alayna says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! It gave me a great excuse to use the Trader Joe’s Barley that has been in my pantry since last winter. I did not have a crock pot big enough for this so I made on the stove top. To estimate the appropriate cooking time, I used the directions for another beef soup: bring to boil, simmer for 45-55 minutes. Also, I didn’t have Worcestershire Sauce so I used balsamic since it would add the sweet, acidic flavor.

  33. 33
    Liquor Box says:

    Great recipie :)

  34. 34

    […] SundaySlow Cooker Beef & Barley Soup from Picky Palate with Cheddar Scones from Annie’s Eats. […]

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Jenny Flake

Welcome to Picky Palate, my online kitchen! You'll usually find me with a cookie in one hand and a salad in the other. It's all about the balance :) The recipes you'll see are my creations. The Picky Palate Cookbook is now available. Enjoy!





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