Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup

Serves 8-10


Mushrooms, Onions & Carrots

  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb button or cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 2 cups water to deglaze pan, divided
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into ½" rounds
  • 2 medium onions, cut into ½" pieces
  • ½ tsp dried thyme

Beef, Tomatoes & Barley

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1½ lbs beef, cut into ½" cubes [chuck roast is used in this video]
  • 1 cup water to deglaze pan
  • 4 cups of water added directly to slow cooker
  • 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1½ tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • ¾ cup pearled barley

To Finish

  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Special Equipment

  • slow cooker


Brown the Mushrooms, Carrots & Onions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and 1 tsp of olive oil.  Brown mushrooms on all sides, about 2-3 minutes, transfer to a bowl and set aside
  2. Add 1 cup of water to the skillet and deglaze (scrape the bottom of the skillet to remove and dissolve caramelized bits of flavorful food). Pour mushroom-water into a bowl (or fat separator) and set aside
  3. Wipe the skillet and heat 1 tsp of olive oil. Add carrots, onions and ½ tsp dried thyme. Brown onions and carrots, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer onions and carrots (not mushrooms) to a slow cooker
  4. Deglaze the skillet with 1 cup of water. Add carrot/onion water to the mushroom water (creating a vegetable water)

Brown the Beef, Set the Slow Cooker & Finish the Soup

  1. Wipe pan and heat 1 tsp oil.  Increase heat to high and brown meat on all sides, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer meat to the slow cooker
  2. Deglaze pan with 1 cup water. Add meat water to vegetable water and add to slow cooker
  3. Add 4 cups of water to the slow cooker along with tomatoes, garlic, thyme, salt, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and pearled barley
  4. Cover and cook for at least 6 hours (and up to 12 hours) or low or 4 hours on high
  5. Check seasonings, add the browned mushrooms and peas and heat vegetables through before serving