Pam's Beef, Onion and Barley Soup

Pam Ellingson


Made this for my Hubby who loves Barley. I don't cook it often, and thought he might like a nice hot soup this cold, blustery day.


★★★★★ 1 vote

4 to 6
15 Min
1 Hr 15 Min
Stove Top


  • 1
    12 to 16 oz ribeye steak (mine was bone-in)
  • 1
    lg onion, sliced thinly from pole to pole
  • 2
    small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced in rounds
  • 1/2
    tsp crushed celery seed
  • 1/4
    c. dry sherry
  • 48
    oz water
  • 1 1/2 to 2
    tbsp better than bouillion beef base
  • 1
    small garlic clove
  • 1
    10 oz can beef consomme
  • 1/2
    cup pearl barley (not quick cooking)
  • 2
    tsp maggi seasoning or all purpose seasoning like kitchen bouquet
  • 2
    tsp worcestershire sauce
  • ·
    salt and pepper to taste

How to Make Pam's Beef, Onion and Barley Soup


  1. Prepare steak by partially freezing to make cutting easier. With a sharp knife, trim away the bone (If not boneless) and as much fat as possible, put aside any fat, bone or gristle. Slice steak into 1/2 inch thick strips, then cut the strips into about 1/2 inch dice. In a large saucepan (3 or more Qt) render the fat and bone and gristle at medium. (I got about 1 Tbsp. of fat. And it took about 10 to 15 minutes. You do not want the bits to burn or it will ruin your oil.) Remove solid bits and discard. If you do not have at least a Tbsp. of fat, add or substitute vegetable oil.
  2. Prepare onion, carrot, and crush the celery seed (I use a mortar and pestle). Crush the garlic clove lightly with the side of your knife and remove paper peeling. Stick a wooden toothpick through the garlic, both to hold it together and to make it easier to find and remove.
  3. Heat oil and fry the diced meat in small batches on medium high to high just until brown, stirring and adjusting heat to keep from burning. (Does not have to be completely cooked) Season with a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Remove browned meat with slotted spoon and set aside in a medium bowl. Leave oil in saucepan.
  4. Add onion, carrot and celery seed to hot oil. Cook over medium to medium low heat, stirring occasionally until onions are very soft and light to medium brown. This took me 30 minutes or more.
  5. Deglaze the pot with the sherry (or substitute with beef broth with a tsp. of lemon juice or vinegar added) and scrape any brown bits off the bottom to help flavor. Simmer uncovered until sherry or broth is almost gone. Toss in the toothpick with garlic clove and add water and bouillon base. Continue simmering on low, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. (You may substitute a 48 oz. carton of low sodium beef broth or use your own homemade beef broth.) Remove the garlic and discard after 30 min.
  6. Add the consommé and barley, Maggi and Worcestershire, stir well, cover and simmer 25 to 35 minutes until barley is tender. Stir about every 5 to 10 minutes so barley will not clump. When barley is tender, add the browned beef and simmer 5 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  7. If you wish, defat the soup by chilling and any fat will set on top of the liquid. Simply lift off or use a spoon to remove.

    Reheat to serve.
    Suggestion for serving: Serve with Toasted Wheat or Rye bread or rolls topped with Shredded Gruyere Cheese and broiled until cheese melts and /or browns slightly.

Printable Recipe Card

About Pam's Beef, Onion and Barley Soup

Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American
Other Tag: Healthy

Show 5 Comments & Reviews

15 Recipes to Kickstart Healthier Eating

15 Recipes to Kickstart Healthier Eating

If there was ever a time to indulge, it’s during the holidays. But, it’s a new year and time to start making some changes. Sometimes we just need a little push to eat healthier. One meal at a time and suddenly you don’t miss chocolate cake. Who are we kidding… we’ll always miss a decadent […]

17 Recipes With Avocado That Go Beyond Guacamole

17 Recipes With Avocado That Go Beyond Guacamole

You can’t make guacamole without avocados. But they are good in many more recipes too. Rich and creamy, use them in deviled eggs or a dip. They complete fish tacos and are a tasty addition to burgers. If you’re craving avocado but don’t want guac (gasp), remember these recipes. They will curb your avocado craving […]

Easy Weeknight Crock Pot Meals

Easy Weeknight Crock Pot Meals

When I want an easy meal that’s full of flavor, I pull out my Crock Pot. Throw the ingredients in and the slow cooker works its magic. It is great for those days when I just don’t feel like cooking but want to serve my family an impressive dinner. “Also sometimes called Pantry or Cupboard […]