Crock Pot Beef, Vegetable, and Barley Soup

Beef barley soup
Alexandra Grablewski/Digital Vision/Getty Images
    610 min

Serve this delicious and hearty soup with crusty bread or rolls and a tossed salad. The beef shanks on the bone add extra flavor to the broth. If you don't have beef shanks, use an extra  1/2 to 1 pound of stewing beef.

"The flavor is out of this world, thank you for posting this recipe." — J. B.

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 pound of stew beef, cut into small pieces
  • 1 or 2 meaty beef shanks
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced thin
  • 2 ribs celery with tops, sliced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup frozen cut green beans
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup frozen lima beans, optional
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 4 to 5 cups beef broth, from cans, homemade, base, or bouillon
  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 1 small package frozen peas, about 1 1/2 cups, thawed under cold running water

How to Make It

  • Use a 5 to 6-quart crock pot for this recipe, or cut back on ingredients for a smaller pot.

  • Add everything but the barley and peas to the crock pot. Add water to within 1 1/2 inches of the top of the crock pot; stir. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, or until the beef is tender. Remove the beef shanks to a plate and cut the meat from the bones. Discard the bones.

  • Add the beef back to the slow crock pot along with the barley. Increase the heat to HIGH and cook for about 1 hour and 45 minutes longer. Add the thawed peas and continue cooking on HIGH for about 15 minutes longer, or until the barley is tender.

  • Tips and Variations

    • Add 1 cup of frozen corn kernels along with the barley.
    • Freeze leftover soup in 1 or 2-cup individual portions.
    • Wrap a loaf of crusty bread and warm it in a 350 F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until warm. Serve with the soup.
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