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1 pound lean ground beef (15% fat or less)
1 large carrot, diced (about 1 cup)
1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
8 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup pearl barley (see Notes)
½ teaspoon pepper


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. In large sauce pot, cook ground beef over medium heat. Drain fat (see Notes).
  3. Add carrot, onion, celery and garlic; stir often and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add broth, tomatoes with juice, barley and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes or until barley is as tender as you like it.
  6. Serve warm.
  7. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.


  • Pour fat from cooked meat into a metal container. Let it cool, then dispose of it in a garbage can.
  • No broth? Use 8 teaspoons low-sodium bouillon and 8 cups of water instead. 
  • Add 1 cup sliced mushrooms with tomatoes.
  • Add 1 cup chopped kale or other greens with tomatoes.
  • Pearl barley is high in fiber but is not a whole grain. If using whole grain barley (also called hulled barley), it may take longer for the barley to soften.
  • Try adding cilantro on top for more flavor.
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14 Cups
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cooking time:
45 minutes
Portions of Beef Barley Soup recipe
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