Quick Beef & Barley Soup

Quick Beef & Barley Soup

Quick-cooking barley and sirloin help get this beef-and-barley soup on the table in a snap—and it doubles easily. If leftovers get too thick in the fridge, add a little broth when you reheat it. Serve with crusty bread and a glass of malbec.

From EatingWell: January/February 2011
Yield: 4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
Active Time: 40
Total Time: 40


  1. 8 ounces sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  2. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  3. 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 1 large stalk celery, sliced
  6. 1 large carrot, sliced
  7. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  8. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  9. 3/4 cup quick-cooking barley
  10. 4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  11. 1 cup water
  12. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  13. 1-2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar


  1. Sprinkle steak with 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the steak and cook, stirring often, until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, onion and celery to the pot and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add carrot and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add tomato paste and thyme and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are coated with the tomato paste and are beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add barley, broth, water, salt and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cook until the barley is tender, about 15 minutes. Return the beef and any accumulated juice to the pot and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vinegar to taste.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


Nutrition Per Serving: 250 calories; 8 g fat (2 g sat, 5 g mono); 26 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates; 17 g protein; 5 g fiber; 701 mg sodium; 573 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (65% daily value), Potassium (16% dv), Zinc (15% dv)

2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat