Slow-Roasted Beef Barley Soup

For a hearty, delicious winter soup, try Slow-Roasted Beef Barley Soup!  It’s rib-sticking and flavorful.  The perfect antidote to this frosty winter we’ve been experiencing!

This isn’t a fast-cooking soup…it’s like making a stew, but in a soup form.  The aromas wafting through your kitchen and the rest of the house will entice you to sit tight and wait for the time when you can take your first taste of this soup.  You’ll need about 3 & 1/2 hours, but it’s well worth the wait!

To begin this soup, cook bacon pieces until they are crisp, in a Dutch oven, and set aside.

In the same pot, add the onion, shallots and bell pepper and sauté until soft.

Add the chicken broth, dark ale, diced chuck roast, tomatoes, tomato paste, pesto, and the rest of the seasonings.  Combine and cover and place the Dutch oven into a preheated oven and cook for 90 minutes.

Let’s talk about a few things, such as not searing the chuck roast pieces ahead of time.  Browning on the stovetop is a time-consuming and messy process.  My cooktop (and usually my clothes) gets splattered with oil.  Boo!

This soup doesn’t need that extra step.  All the additional flavor and color that browning gets will still occur with this slow-roasted method. Yay!

Regarding using chicken stock in a beef soup, I’ve found that beef broth is usually tasteless and adds very little extra to a recipe.  Instead, chicken stock will elevate the flavor and give you the depth that you are looking for. 

Finally, I love using dark ale in the soup.  The beer gives it a hearty flavor but also adds to the rich caramel color.  I used a dark Guinness Stout.

After the soup has cooked for 90 minutes, add the carrots and barley and mix well.  Cover and return the pot to the oven for another 90 minutes.

At the end of this time, remove the pot from the oven and stir in the fresh chopped rosemary and corn kernels.  Let it sit for 10 minutes and then serve and enjoy!

This recipe makes a large batch of soup.  It freezes beautifully.  If it gets a little thick as it sits in the refrigerator, just add a little chicken stock to thin it out.

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Lastly, if you make Slow-Roasted Beef Barley Soup, be sure to leave a review down below at the bottom of this page (stars are also appreciated)! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every review. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Slow-Roasted Beef Barley Soup

Makes: 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours & 30 minutes


For the Soup:

  • 3 slices smoky bacon (2, if using thick-cut bacon)
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced small
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup chopped shallots)
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, diced small
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (11-ounce) bottle or can dark ale
  • 2 pounds well-marbled chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2-inch pieces,
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounces) can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 2 medium bay leaves
  • 4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 & 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

After 1 & 1/2 hours:

  • 8 ounces carrots, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 2/3 cup pearled barley

For Finishing:

  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup tiny corn canned or frozen


For the Soup:

Preheat the oven to 300˚F.

Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven (5-7 quarts) over medium heat. Add the diced bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and has rendered most of the fat. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and set aside.

There should be about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat left in the pan. If there is more, remove and discard any extra. If there is not quite 2 tablespoons add a little extra virgin olive oil.

Reduce the heat slightly and add the onion, shallots and bell pepper. Sauté until the onion is soft and slightly transparent,

Add the chicken broth, ale, diced chuck roast, reserved bacon, fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, pesto, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cover. Place the soup pot or Dutch oven in the preheated oven and cook for 1& 1/2 hours.

After 1 & 1/2 hours:

Remove the pot from the oven and add the carrots and barley. Cover again and return the pot to the oven for another 1 & 1/2 hours.

For Finishing:

Remove the pot from the oven and add the fresh chopped rosemary and the corn. Cover and allow the soup to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe from The Cafe Sucre Farine


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