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Beef Barley Soup

The addition of exotic mushrooms to flavorful homemade beef stock turn a familiar favorite -- beef barley soup -- into a special winter meal. Serve with crusty bread, a robust red wine, and a salad, and you'll have a deliciously comforting meal.

  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8
Beef Barley Soup


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds beef shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 small yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups Homemade Beef Stock Homemade Beef Stock
  • 1 bouquet garni of rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms, such as cultivated white, cremini, yellowfoot, chanterelle, hedgehog, or black trumpet, cut into 1-inch pieces


  1. Heat butter and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper. Sear meat in two batches on all sides until well browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove meat with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Add onions, and cook, stirring constantly, until well caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes.

  2. Return meat to pot, and add stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour. Add bouquet garni, barley, and vegetables, and simmer for 1 hour, adding more stock if necessary. Adjust seasonings.

Reviews (3)

  • Lakgerman 14 Dec, 2013

    This is the best soup I have had in my whole life. I made this recipe I believe 12 yrs ago and it is my son's favorite. Recently I made it for friends from my paper copy which I had it all those years. They all wanted the recipe. I wanted to send it electronically but it did not look pretty. I went to MS website, found the recipe and I sent it from there BUT I noticed the amount of beef broth was wrong. It should be 8C instead of 3. That is a big mistake. It is a big pot of soup.

  • realtomatoe 7 Dec, 2008

    cut the squash in half. scoop out seeds and strings. Cut into 1/2 in pieces, cutting off the peal if you don't like it.(it is edible)
    The recipe is good without it too.

  • LittleOleKelly 25 Jan, 2008

    Why are the directions so vague? It doesn't tell you how to prepare the acorn squash. I have no idea what to do with it, how frustrating!!

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