Easy Beef Barley Soup

Today, we’re embarking on a culinary journey that not only warms the soul but also transforms yesterday’s dinner into a comforting masterpiece – Easy Beef Barley Soup!

Picture this: tender shreds of leftover beef roast, seasoned to perfection, making a triumphant comeback in a bubbling pot of Beef Barley Soup.

It’s a story of reinvention, flavor revival, and the joy of creating something extraordinary from the remnants of a previous feast.

The Beauty of Leftovers

There’s a certain magic in leftovers – a second chance for ingredients to shine in a different light. In today’s adventure, we’re taking that magic to new heights as we breathe life into leftover beef roast, turning it into the star of our Beef Barley Soup.

It’s not just about using what’s on hand; it’s about elevating those familiar flavors to create a symphony of taste that will leave you reaching for seconds.

A Symphony of Flavors

Imagine the sizzle of onions in olive oil, the aroma of garlic filling the air, and the hearty embrace of pearl barley soaking up the richness of beef broth. Our secret weapon? A packet of au jus gravy mix that transforms the broth into a savory elixir. But that’s not all – enter a colorful ensemble of frozen mixed vegetables, a surprise crunch from frozen hash browns, and the unexpected twist of ketchup that ties it all together.

Cozy Comeback in Every Spoonful

As the soup simmers, flavors meld and dance, creating a narrative that goes beyond a simple meal. It’s a cozy comeback, a reunion of ingredients in a pot that whispers tales of comfort and warmth.

Each spoonful is a reminder that with a bit of creativity, leftovers can be the stars of the show, bringing joy to both the cook and the lucky diners.

So, join me in this culinary escapade as we turn yesterday’s roast into today’s masterpiece.

This Easy Beef Barley Soup with a Savory Twist is not just a recipe; it’s an invitation to rediscover the beauty of leftovers and savor the magic that happens when ingredients get a second act.

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Ingredients in this Easy Beef Barley Soup Recipe

Imagine a bowl of Beef Barley Soup where the star of the show is that tender, seasoned beef from last night’s feast – sounds like comfort food magic, right?

Let’s dive into the heartwarming ingredients that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance!

The List…

Leftover beef roast, shredded or diced (about 1 lb), is the base for this soup! This is where the magic begins. That beautifully seasoned beef is about to take center stage in our soup spectacular.

Because we’re starting this adventure on a smooth, flavorful note, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

The unsung hero that brings a sweet and savory melody to our soup is 1 medium onion, chopped.

Two cloves of garlic, minced, adds a dash of garlicky goodness for that aromatic embrace.

The chewy, wholesome backbone of our soup will be 1 cup of pearl barley.

One bag of frozen mixed vegetables (about 12 oz) adds a colorful, nutrient-packed ensemble to keep things exciting.

Add in a cup of frozen hash browns to give this great soup a touch of unexpected crunch.

What Makes it Soup is the Broth!

A liquid hug for our ingredients, infusing the soup with rich, savory flavors is 6 cups beef broth.

And the secret weapon for that depth of flavor that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance will be 1 packet of au jus gravy mix!!

The tangy, sweet note that ties everything together in perfect harmony will be 2 tablespoons of ketchup.

Salt and pepper, to taste.  Your personal touch to elevate the symphony of flavors.

Optional: Dried herbs like thyme or rosemary, because we’re all about those extra nuances of flavor.

Whipping up this Easy Beef Barley Soup Recipe!

Let the Magic Begin!

Sauté the Aromatics:

In a large pot, warm up the olive oil over medium heat. Toss in the chopped onions and let them sizzle until they’re as translucent as a summer day. Add the minced garlic and let the aromatic dance begin.

Introduce the Barley:

Sprinkle in the pearl barley, and let it join the party. Stir it around, allowing it to get acquainted with the flavors in the pot.

Bring in the Beefy Brigade:

Add our leftover beef roast to the mix. Let it bask in the warmth and say hello to its new friends – the onions, garlic, and barley.

Gravy Mix Alchemy:

Pour in the beef broth and sprinkle that au jus gravy mix. This is where the magic happens – the broth transforms into a savory elixir that’ll have you reaching for seconds.

Simmer, Stir, and Savory Moments:

Lower the heat, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer for about 15-20 minutes. This is the time when the flavors meld and dance together in a culinary symphony.

Veggie Extravaganza:

Throw in the frozen mixed vegetables and frozen hash browns. Stir the pot like you’re composing a culinary masterpiece. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes until everything is tender and cozy.

Ketchup Twist:

Add the ketchup – it’s the secret twist that adds a touch of tangy sweetness. Give it a stir and taste the magic. Adjust with salt and pepper if needed.

Ladle, Serve, and Savor:

Ladle this creation into bowls, and there you have it – Beef Barley Soup with a savory twist. Each spoonful is a journey through the heartwarming flavors of yesterday’s roast, reinvented into today’s delightful masterpiece.

So there you go, magical chefs! Embrace the joy of reinventing leftovers and savor the deliciousness of Beef Barley Soup with a savory twist.

Storing and Reheating Leftover Easy Beef Barley Soup

Storing and reheating beef barley soup is easy, and it allows you to enjoy the delicious flavors over multiple meals. Here’s a guide on how to store and reheat beef barley soup:


Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before storing.

Transfer the soup to an airtight container or divide it into smaller containers for easier storage.

Refrigerate the soup within 2 hours of cooking.


Consider labeling the container with the date to keep track of freshness.

Storage Duration

Beef barley soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing Beef Barley Soup

Allow the soup to cool completely before freezing.

Transfer the soup to a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bags.

Leave some space at the top to allow for expansion during freezing.

Label the container with the date and contents.

Beef barley soup can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheating Beef Barley Soup

I think soup of any kind is always better on the second day!  Here’s how to reheat this simple next day soup!

Refrigerated Soup

Here are a few different ways to reheat the leftover soup!


Transfer the desired amount of soup to a pot.

Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature.


Use a microwave-safe container.

Heat in short intervals, stirring in between, until the soup is heated through.

Frozen Soup

Transfer the frozen soup to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight.

Stovetop or Microwave:

Follow the reheating instructions for refrigerated soup.

Reheat Gradually:

If reheating from frozen, start with lower heat or shorter intervals to avoid uneven heating.


Stir the soup during reheating to ensure even warming and to maintain its consistency.

Additional Liquid:

If the soup has thickened during storage, you can add a bit of water or broth to reach your desired consistency.

Be cautious not to overheat, as it may affect the texture and flavor of the soup.

Now you’re ready to enjoy your beef barley soup at its best, whether freshly reheated or from the freezer!

Substitutions You Can Make in this Easy Beef Barley Soup Recipe

There are several substitutes you can make in the Beef Barley Soup recipe to accommodate dietary preferences, availability of ingredients, or to simply switch up the flavors. Here are some options:

Beef Roast Substitute

Use cooked chicken, turkey, or pork as an alternative. Ground meat can also work well.

For a meatless version, try mushrooms or a plant-based meat substitute.

Barley Substitute

Quinoa, brown rice, or farro are excellent substitutes for barley. They offer a similar hearty texture.

If you need a gluten-free alternative, consider using rice or gluten-free pasta.

Au Jus Gravy Mix Substitute

Combine beef bouillon powder, a pinch of garlic powder, onion powder, and a dash of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce for a similar flavor profile.

Look for similar gravy or sauce mixes that can give a rich, meaty flavor.

Frozen Mixed Vegetables Substitute

Use any combination of fresh vegetables like carrots, peas, green beans, and corn.

Tailor the vegetable mix to your taste, adding or omitting vegetables as you like.

Frozen Hash Browns Substitute

Dice fresh potatoes as a substitute. Yukon gold or red potatoes work well and add a similar texture.

Sweet potatoes or turnips can be interesting alternatives.

Ketchup Substitute

A bit of tomato paste can offer a similar tomato flavor with less sweetness.

Diced or crushed canned tomatoes can also add depth to the soup.

Beef Broth Substitute

For a lighter flavor or vegetarian option, use vegetable or chicken broth.

Feel free to adjust seasonings like salt, pepper, and herbs according to your taste and dietary needs.

Remember, when substituting ingredients, the cooking time and flavor profile might slightly change, so adjust accordingly. Enjoy experimenting with your soup!

Making the Easy Beef Barley Soup in the Slow Cooker

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onions until translucent, then add minced garlic. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker.

Add leftover beef roast, pearl barley, beef broth, au jus gravy mix, frozen mixed vegetables, frozen hash browns, and ketchup to the slow cooker. If using, add dried herbs. Stir everything together.

Cover the slow cooker and set it on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. The slow cooking will allow the flavors to meld and the barley to become tender.

Wondering What to Serve with this Easy Beef Barley Soup Recipe?

Beef barley soup is a hearty and flavorful dish, and there are many delicious options to pair with it. Here are some ideas for sides and accompaniments that pair well with beef barley soup:

Crusty Bread or Rolls

My favorite way to serve a bowl of this delicious soup is with a slice of warm, crusty bread or a dinner roll! The bread is perfect for soaking up the delicious broth!!

Garlic Bread

Elevate your bread game with some garlic bread for added flavor.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

A classic grilled cheese sandwich can be a comforting and satisfying side.

Side Salad

A light and fresh side salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a simple vinaigrette can provide a nice contrast to the hearty soup.

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables, such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, or broccoli, can complement the flavors of the soup.

Mashed Potatoes

Creamy mashed potatoes are a comforting side that pairs well with the heartiness of beef barley soup.

Cheese and Crackers

Create a cheese and cracker board with a variety of cheeses and whole-grain crackers for a simple and satisfying accompaniment.


A light and tangy coleslaw can add a refreshing element to the meal.


Serve cornbread on the side for a slightly sweet and crumbly contrast to the savory soup.

Steamed Vegetables

Steamed vegetables, such as green beans or asparagus, can be a simple and healthy side option.

Feel free to mix and match based on your preferences and what you have available. The key is to balance the richness of the soup with complementary textures and flavors.

If you’ve enjoyed this Easy Beef Barley Soup recipe check out my Hearty Potato Leek Soup Recipe or my Italian Sausage and Pasta Soup Recipe!

Happy cooking!!!

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Easy Beef Barley Soup

Today, we're embarking on a culinary journey that not only warms the soul but also transforms yesterday's dinner into a comforting masterpiece –Easy Beef Barley Soup!
Picture this: tender shreds of leftover beef roast, seasoned to perfection, making a triumphant comeback in a bubbling pot of Beef Barley Soup.
It's a story of reinvention, flavor revival, and the joy of creating something extraordinary from the remnants of a previous feast.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef soup, easy soup recipe, savory soup, vegetable soup
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 417kcal

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  • 1 lb beef roast leftover, shredded or diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 packet au jus gravy mix
  • 12 ounce bag frozen vegetables
  • 1 cup frozen hash browns
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: Dried herbs like thyme or rosemary


  • Sauté Aromatics: Heat olive oil in a large pot, then add chopped onions. Sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Cook Barley: Stir in pearl barley and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add Broth and Au Jus Gravy Mix: Add leftover beef roast (shredded or diced) to the pot. Pour in beef broth and mix in the au jus gravy mix. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Simmer: Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. The leftover beef is already cooked, so you won’t need the longer cooking time.
  • Add Vegetables and Hash Browns: Add the frozen mixed vegetables and frozen hash browns to the pot. Stir well.
  • Add Ketchup: Stir in the ketchup, adjusting the seasoning if necessary. Continue to simmer for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables, hash browns, and barley are tender.
  • Serve: Ladle the delicious beef barley soup into bowls and enjoy the heartwarming flavors.
  • Tips:
  • Beef Roast Choice: Leftover roast beef adds a wonderful depth of flavor. Shred or dice it into bite-sized pieces before adding.
  • Au Jus Mix: The au jus mix will complement the beef roast flavor. Adjust salt accordingly, as the mix can be salty.
  • Ketchup: Enhance the tanginess and sweetness with ketchup. Adjust to your taste preference.
  • Storage: Like any good soup, this one can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days and freezes well for later enjoyment.
  • So, go ahead and give your leftover beef roast a new life in this delicious and convenient Beef Barley Soup! Enjoy!

Your Own Private Notes


Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 766mg | Potassium: 1091mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 17271IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @lakegirlquilts or tag #lakegirlquilts!

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