Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup recipe

I originally shared this recipe back in February 2012, but this slow cooker beef and barley soup just had to be shared again as part of our soup and salad series!

I love to pick up stew meat when I find it’s been marked down and needs to be cooked up – that’s what I did for this recipe. I’m pretty sure you can have the butcher dice up any kind of meat cut, but I’m not positive (have you done this?)


1 to 2 pounds stew beef

1 cup pearl barley

2 cups frozen corn 

4-6 cups water or broth (I used beef bouillon mixed with water)

4 to 6 sliced carrots

1 stalk celery, diced (Although I put in four or five)

1 can tomatoes

1 onion, diced (I put in two)

3 minced fresh garlic clove (I have to put garlic in everything, you don’t, it wasn’t on any of the recipes I looked at)

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon paprika

2 cups fresh or frozen green beans (I left this out since we didn’t have them)

Fresh parsley to garnish


1.) In a large skillet add a little olive oil and add the onions and beef. Cook beef until brown and onions until starting to soften.

2.) If beef is really fatty, you can drain it first, then transfer to your slow cooker. Add all the other ingredients to the slow cooker.

3.) Cook on medium-high for for 4-5 hours or until barley, beef and veggies are tender.

4.) Serve with fresh parsley as garnish and don’t forget the warm bread. If you’re up for it – make my Grandma’s Rolls.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

I’d love to hear your recipes and your versions for this!  This salad recipe is part of our Soup and Salad recipe series!

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  1. I made a huge roast the other night and there is a ton left over, I thought I’d cube it up and make a beef barley soup with it. Do you think it would soften the meat? It was a tough roast! That’s why I thought of doing this as it’s too tough for sandwiches. Also, do you think diced potato would be good instead of tomato? Sadly I’ve only every had canned beef barely soup and I would love to replicate it, only better and better for you. :)

  2. What size can of tomatoes did you use, and were they whole, crushed, puree, etc…


  3. I made this recipe last week and my family loved it even the kiddos who don’t normally like soup!

  4. Kolleen says:

    I made this soup yesterday, it was SO good! I had friends over last night and we really liked it and had a great green salad with it too. I will share a bowl with a friend tomorrow–he gives me ads each week! Thank you Heather.

    • Kolleen – I’m sooooo glad you like the recipe! :) Thank you for taking the time to come back and let me know, I really appreciate it.
      Take care!

  5. The recipe and photos are great—now I want soup instead of leftovers for dinner!!! Wahhh!!!!

  6. I have a bunch of stew meat in my freezer, looks like this could be a great meal for Sunday! I don’t have any barley, but WinCo is about a mile and a half a way from my house so I’ll just go grab some in their bulk section.