Beef and Barley Soup

I woke up to the second straight day of cold and snowy weather after sunny and 80 degrees earlier this week. Colorado, we love your abrupt weather changes! Something warm and hearty is in order for dinner today. Something that is ready when we walk in the door shaking off the cold. I am thinking beef and barley soup in the slow cooker.

Beef and Barley Soup


  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 8 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  3. Brown half of beef, about 8 minutes.
  4. Transfer to slow cooker.
  5. Repeat with additional 1 tablespoon oil and remaining beef.
  6. Add remaining oil, onions, and carrots to skillet.
  7. Cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  8. Cook garlic, thyme, and tomato paste until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  9. Stir in wine, using wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits.
  10. Transfer to slow cooker.
  11. Add broth, tomatoes, tapioca, and barley to slow cooker.
  12. Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, 7 to 9 hours.
  13. Stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

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