Delicious recipes that help stretch my food dollars go right to the top of my list of favorites! And this Beef and Barley Soup is no exception. The combination of savory vegetables, beefy mushrooms, and creamy barley result in an easy one-pot meal that packs big flavor and big savings. To start, I chose top round steak for the beef in this recipe; a cut of beef that is both lean and cost effective. Simmering the beef for the full hour and a half flavors the soup and tenderizes the meat, giving us the same buttery bites of beef that we crave from more expensive cuts without the cost. Also, by using mushrooms to extend the meaty texture and flavor in the dish, we’re able to use less beef (saving more money) and add extra nutrition. According to the National Mushroom Council, using mushrooms in place of some (or all) of the beef in a recipe can result in a cost savings between 25-60%! Finally, the boost of fiber and protein from the barley and peas leave you feeling full and satisfied after eating less. This not only cuts your portion sizes but leaves extra leftovers for lunch later in the week. Savings all around :). To make this delectable dish, start by heating 1 Tbsp. canola oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot. While the oil is heating, trim and cube top round steak into ½ inch pieces, lightly seasoning with salt and pepper. Then add 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour to the steak pieces, massaging until well coated.
Add the beef to the soup pot and cook until brown, stirring occasionally. Once brown, add the garlic and onions.
Meanwhile, if you haven’t already this is an excellent time to chop your vegetables.
After two minutes, add the carrots, thyme, and parsley cooking for 4 minutes. Add the beef broth and water. Time to reduce the heat, cover the soup, and let simmer for 40 minutes!
Next, add the barley and mushrooms! (YUM!) Cover and let simmer for an additional 30-45 minutes or until barley is soft and chewy. Stir in peas and let cook until heated through, about five minutes (optional). This budget-friendly soup reheats wonderfully and is a great option to serve as a quick lunch or dinner again later in the week! Happy eating!
Beef Barley Soup
- 1/2 lb. top round steak, trimmed and cubed into ½ inch pieces
- 3/4 cup barley
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 cups carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. Canola Oil
- 1 Tbsp. Flour
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 3/4 cup frozen peas (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot. Meanwhile, trim and cube top round steak into ½ inch pieces. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Add flour to steak pieces, massaging until well coated.
- Add the beef to the soup pot, stirring occasionally until brown. Add garlic and onions; simmer until soft about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, thyme, and parsley, let sauté for about four minutes. Add water and beef broth. Cover with lid and reduce heat to simmer for 40 minutes.
- Stir soup. Add mushrooms and barley. Cover soup and let simmer for an additional 30-45 minutes or until barley is soft and chewy. Stir in frozen peas, cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until heated through. Serve.
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