Beef & Mushroom Barley Soup

Lately I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the generosity of friends. Today’s guest poster, Amanda, is one of those friends. A few weeks ago, she took it upon herself to reach out to the food blogging/writing community here in Nashville, setting up a Meal Train to help get us through the weeks following Baby’s arrival.

Well, those bloggers and writers responded in full force and we’ve had a steady stream of visitors with delicious food flowing through our door over the last couple of weeks!

Adjusting to life at home with a new little one is tough enough as it is, so this has been such a blessing!

A huge thanks to Amanda for her help in organizing the Meal Train, as well as volunteering to guest post for me today. Please welcome her as she shares her family recipe for the heart-warming soup she shared with my little family last week.


~Beef & Mushroom Barley Soup~

by Amanda Saad of An Organic Process

A hearty, steaming bowl of this soup never fails to bring a smile to my face.  Both my mom and my Oma have their own versions of the recipe and no matter who’s making it, it’s one of my favorite comfort foods in the world.  When served with a side of simple, buttered wheat toast I am immediately transported back to childhood.  Maybe that’s why it’s become my go-to meal to deliver to new moms.

It’s not only delicious and healthy, but it’s also something that I can easily make while my own little ones are scurrying around the kitchen.  In fact, I doubled this recipe when I made it for Beth & Baby Eats, and my own family enjoyed it the next night – with buttered toast!

Beef & Mushroom Barley Soup

Serves 4-6


1 lb beef tips or stew meat, chopped into bite-size pieces

1 tbs flour

4 whole carrots, peeled & chopped

1 medium onion, diced

1 package fresh button mushrooms, chopped

4 tbs olive oil, divided

3 15oz cans of tomato sauce

1 32oz carton of beef broth or stock

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp dried oregano

salt & pepper to taste

1 c quick cook barley

2 c water


In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tbs olive oil and the diced onions over medium heat, until the onions become translucent. Stir, and add the carrots and mushrooms, cooking until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.

In the meantime, heat 2 tbs of the olive oil in a skillet under medium high heat. Toss the beef tips in a large bowl with the flour and a bit of salt, just until covered. Once skillet is heated and oil is hot, quickly brown the beef tips. Do not cook the meat through. Remove from heat.

Add the beef stock and tomato sauce to the vegetable mixture, stirring to incorporate. Bring to a simmer, then add the beef tips. Season with paprika, oregano and pepper.* Allow to simmer over low heat for 30 minutes to an hour, and serve hot ladled over the barley.**

*I typically wait until the soup has cooked at least 30 minutes before adding salt. Many times, due to the salt content in the stock & the tomato sauce, I find that this recipe doesn’t need additional salt.

**For the barley, I prefer to add it to the soup just before serving, because mixing it directly into the soup can cause it to soak up all the broth. To cook the barley, heat 2 cups water in a sauce pan with 1 cup of the barley just until boiling. Reduce heat, cover & simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat & allow to sit 5 minutes. Serve immediately with the soup.


Another reason this recipe is great is because it’s versatile.  The vegetables can easily be swapped for whatever you like best or have on hand.  You can even toss in a bag of frozen veggies if you’re really pressed for time.  If you prefer to make this with another protein, or even as a vegetarian soup, that can be done as well.  Just use vegetable stock and omit the meat altogether.

Though the barley is probably my favorite thing about this soup, it can certainly be made with rice, small pasta or another grain, if desired.  Just remember not to mix it directly with the soup until just before serving, or it will soak up all the delicious broth.

Since the soup is so healthy, I delivered a decidedly unhealthy dessert to Beth along with it.  It’s sweet, it’s salty, and it’s a bit over-the-top.  Head over to my blog for the recipe – er – recipes.   This one was a bit of a challenge, but the result was sweet!

Note from Beth: I snapped a pic of the sinful pie Amanda brought to us. Visit her blog to find the recipe recreated into cookie bars!