Beef Barley Soup pt.2

Quick Look_______________

Here's my version of vegetable beef barley soup. We served 15 gallons at the a2f snow trip last year. This recipe is a quick and easy and mimics a long slow boiled soup by using gelatin.
  • Prep time: 10-15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1-1.5 hrs
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Labor Intensity: You can do on your own very easily!
  • 30 servings, adjust by 1.5x if your group tends to eat multiple servings.


  • 11lbs sirloin tip, sirloin, or tri tip (could use chuck or brisket -- add 45 minutes to boil time)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 5 onions
  • 16 cubes beef bouillon cube(enough for 1 gallon broth) -- add more to taste if necessary
  • 8 cubes chicken bouillon cube (enough for 1/2 gallon broth) 
  • 2.5lbs frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 1/2 cup gelatin
  • 1.5 lbs dried barley
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt as needed.
  • 4 (28) ounces cans chopped stewed tomatoes


  • Start boiling 1.5 gallon water and add bullion cubes, reduce to low heat once it starts boiling.
  • Cut meat into 1/2 inch cubes (if necessary) and add to water
  • Fry onions until translucent and add to water.
  • Add celery, pepper, chopped stewed tomatoes, soy sauce, mixed vegetables, barley and bay leaves (everything but gelatin) to water
  • Boil until the meat is very tender (usually 1 hour on high).
  • Dissolve gelatin in some cold water and wait a few minutes and add to soup.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • (Pearl barley will absorb the liquid and expand a lot, so don’t add more than you need.)

Tom's Tips and Tricks_______________

This is as simple as it gets. Just toss everything into a stockpot, get it boiling (this takes the longest), reduce heat to a simmer --watch out so it doesn't flow over and burn, and let it simmer.

You could substitute beef broth, but bullion tends to be cheaper.

What's different about this recipe?
  • I changed the beef broth to a beef/chicken broth mixture. It lightens the flavor and compliments it very well. There's added depth to the soup in this ratio.
  • I used gelatin for the rich mouth feel (see prior entry). It really adds a nice richness to the soup- add more if desired.
  • I added soy sauce for a more savory soup.
  • I pan fried the onions to carmelize them instead of just throwing it into the water.
  • I used a more tender cut (which is more expensive, but saves an hour of time). You can use a cheaper cut on sale if you like and just boil it on it's own a little longer until tender.
[Possible side dish] Serve with french bread slices


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