Vegetable Beef Barley Soup | Kitchen Explorers | PBS Food

Vegetable Beef Barley Soup


Every year when I was a little kid, my mom would make us this soup before we went trick-or-treating.

Normally, I would call it Halloween Soup, but since Halloween was a few weeks ago it will have to go by its normal and boring name – Vegetable Beef Barley Soup. Either way, this soup has serious warming abilities, which is good because it’s already the middle of November.

Since it’s hard to find beef and chicken broth in France, I always have some of these on hand. I usually use them to make chicken broth, but this time I substituted them for bouillon. One of these is the equivalent of two bouillon cubes.

*Update: my mom recently informed me that they sell these little guys in the states now and they’re called Homestyle Stock by Knorr.

Melissa Belanger loves to eat and cook. She learned a lot from her mom who is an amazing cook. She also picked up a few things at restaurants where she’s worked in the past. Melissa is always trying out new recipes or attempting to recreate dishes that she loves from restaurants or places she’s visited. When she’s not cooking, she enjoys traveling, shopping, crocheting, spending time with family and friends, and watching her husband play hockey. Melissa grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, but she’s currently living in France, where her Canadian husband plays professional hockey.

Vegetable Beef Barley Soup

Warm up with a bowl of this hearty, homemade vegetable beef barley soup.



  • 1 lb. beef or steak, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes (or 1 bouillon pack)
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup barley uncooked (quick-cooking)
  • 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (about 3 cups)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 extra bouillon cubes (or 1 extra bouillon pack


  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the beef in the olive oil.
  2. Once the beef has browned, add the garlic, 1 cup of water, bouillon, bay leaf, and salt & pepper.
  3. Reduce heat, cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. After one hour, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  6. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour, 45 Minutes

Total Time: 2 Hours, 00 Minutes

Yield: 8-12

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