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Beef and Barley Soup

Hearty beef and barley soup with just enough kale to lighten it up.
Course Soup
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 4 hours
Total 4 hours 15 minutes
Yields 10 -12 servings
Author Emi


Beef Broth

  • 12 cups water divided
  • 4 tablespoons beef base Better Than Bouillon


  • 3 tablespoons oil for browning
  • 3 kilograms bone-in simmering short ribs will end up with 1.2 kilograms of cooked meat
  • 1 ½ (620 grams) large onion small dice
  • 1 head garlic rough dice
  • 5 (520 grams) large carrots small dice
  • 4 (430 grams) celery ribs small dice
  • 30 (760 grams) button mushrooms quartered
  • 4 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup red wine for deglazing
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ cups pearl barley
  • 2 (300 grams) kale bunches roughly torn
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Parmesan finely grated
  • black pepper fresh cracked
  • parsley chopped
  • hearty bread


  1. Add water and beef base into a large container and stir until the beef base is dissolved. Reserve beef broth for later use.
  2. Coat the bottom of a large heavy bottomed stock pot with oil and place over high heat until the oil starts to smoke. Working in batches, brown each side of the meat, about 5 minutes each side. Place the meat on a tray and reserve for later use.
  3. Add onions to the pot and sweat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, mushrooms, and tomato paste and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the vegetable mixture starts to brown. Deglaze the pot with red wine and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, 8 cups of broth, and bay leaves. Carefully add the short ribs back into the pot (arrange the meat so it is submerged in the liquid). Bring the liquid to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 2 ½ hours, every 30 minutes or so agitate the mixture to prevent burning. Add barley and the remaining 4 cups of broth into the pot and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes.
  5. After 3 hours of simmering, remove the meat and place on a cutting board. Shred the beef into large chunks and discard bones and any extra fat. Place the meat back into the pot. Stir in the kale and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes or until the kale is softened. Test the soup for additional flavourings such as salt or pepper.
  6. Serve immediately, garnish with finely grated Parmesan, freshly cracked black pepper, parsley, and a nice slice of hearty bread.
  7. Enjoy!