Weekend at the Cottage Symbol
  • Beef And Barley Soup
  • Beef And Barley Soup
  • Beef And Barley Soup
  • Beef And Barley Soup

Beef And Barley Soup

Food | November 19, 2016 | Nik Manojlovich
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5)
  • 375
  • 8
  • Easy

We break out the SLOW COOKER to create a hearty, wholesome BEEF AND BARLEY SOUP. The results are absolutely terrific!

My SLOW COOKER has just become my new best friend, and this small kitchen appliance is deserving of great praise. I am especially taken by the entire concept of being able to free up time and do other things while the slow cooker works its magic.

This is my first attempt at a soup recipe using the slow cooker method. I considered many things so it wouldn’t all go to pot:

BEEF – I asked my butcher for a suggestion on the best cut for this recipe; his recommendation was a blade roast. Removing the excess fat and silver skin is important, as well as searing the cubed meat before the soup is set to cook. Browning the meat in small batches – not overcrowding the skillet – seals in the flavour.

VEGETABLES – I used my standard favourites of onion, celery, garlic and carrot, but I also included parsnip and was very happy with the results. Next time I make it, I think I’ll change it up a bit just to see how different vegetables respond to the slow-cook technique.

TOMATO PASTE – The tomato paste was a last minute addition and only went in because I had half a can sitting in the fridge. I do like how the concentrated tomato adds richness to the beef stock.

BARLEY – I spoke with my friends at RUBE’S in St. Lawrence Market about what type of barley to use and learned two things: pearl barley has had the outer husk and bran layers removed, while barley groats is the whole grain form where only the outermost husks have been taken away. Groats hold their shape when slow-cooked and they also have a higher nutritional value. I’m glad I went with them.

Preparing the vegetables and meat for this recipe the night before I prepared it made the whole experience quite carefree. I know you’ll like that!

My favourite vegetables slow-cooked with tender beef in a rich broth, creating a satisfying soup that’s perfect for when the cold weather sets in. You’d never guess that BEEF AND BARLEY SOUP could taste SO GOOD!



Ingredients & Amounts

  • 2 pound blade roast, cut into 1” cubes
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 small head of garlic, fine-chopped
  • 3 ribs of celery, chopped
  • ½ can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of barley groats
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups of beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil (for searing and sautéing)


  1. Prepare vegetables and blade roast in advance. When cubing beef, discard any fat or silver skin.
  2. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Drizzle some olive oil into the pan. Add a few cubes of beef, careful not to overcrowd the skillet. Toss the beef cubes about until they are browned on all sides. Transfer to a bowl and repeat until all of the beef is browned.
  3. Drizzle a bit more olive oil into the skillet and add the prepared vegetables, sautéing them for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften.
  4. Transfer cooked beef and any juices to the slow cooker. Add the sautéed vegetables, tomato paste, barley and bay leaves. Add the beef stock and stir.
  5. Set slow cooker to low setting and cook for 6 hours.
  6. Discard bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Serve with a chopped parsley garnish.
Listen on MUSIC

Listening to great music is an essential part of every Weekend at the Cottage. Here is an amazing album that showcases the most popular compositions of Italian composer Ottorino Respighi. I think his ANCIENT AIRS AND DANCES might be the best thing to listen to as you wait for your SLOW COOKER to work some magic. Head to iTunes to download this album to your collection.

Nik Manojlovich

Nik is the creator, host and brains behind Weekend at the Cottage. He loves sharing his wisdom and experience about the things that interest him most.



Related Posts


Enter your e-mail below and you’ll receive access to our monthly newsletters, member contests, exclusive-to-email photos and behind-the-scenes fun! Best of all, it’s FREE! We’d be so happy if you’d join our growing online community!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.