Beef & Barley Soup: Comfort in a Crockpot

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Who says chicken soup is the best food to eat when you aren’t feeling your best? Now I now it does have some magical ingredient that apparently does help recover from a cold, but still. When we want something soothing, mild and comforting, I’ll pick this soup instead. Beef Barley soup is one of the favorites in my family.

A slow cooker is an ideal way to make soup, especially this recipe. You toss in the ingredients, set it on low, and forget about it until dinner time. There isn’t much more pleasant than the aroma of soup cooking all day long. It smells so good, you might have to sample it during the day to see how it is doing.

Beef & Barley Soup

Use any beef you have on hand, from steak or roast to stew meat. Cut it into small bite size pieces. If I use stew meat, I cut that smaller too, either in half or quarters. The chopped mushrooms and onions add flavor, and the barley is so filling. Barley is also a healthier alternative than noodles. You can add more meat or less if you prefer. The same with the vegetables.

Usually I make it without the spinach, but since I add spinach to nearly everything now, I did with the soup this time too. It was delicious and more colorful besides. Just remember to put it in at the last minute—even into the served bowls will give it time enough to wilt.

Once we’ve eaten, there is plenty left to freeze so it will be on hand for additional meals. It freezes beautifully. Just thaw and heat—I use the microwave. Your meal can be ready in minutes.

The pot should serve 6 to 8 easily.

Beef & Barley Soup: Comfort in a Crockpot


  • ½ pound of lean steak, any cut
  • 1 cup barley
  • ½ chopped onion
  • 8 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 cans beef broth (you can use more bouillon instead if you wish)
  • 2 cubes beef bouillon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 to 6 cups of water as preferred
  • 2 cups or more of fresh spinach
  1. Thinly slice the steak into little bite size pieces.
  2. Put all ingredients into crock pot.
  3. Add water until crock pot is ⅔ full.
  4. Cook 8 to 10 hours on low.
  5. Dish into bowls, then stir in spinach just before serving.
  6. Serve with rolls or corn bread.






Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

Author: Jackie Jackson

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1 Comment

  1. I love the idea of eating a nice warming soup when I’m not well. This one has some great healing ingredients. It sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing.

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