Dave's Beef and Barley Soup

My friend Dave makes awesome beef barley soup. Like, really awesome. He gave me the recipe, so I made some yesterday and have been really enjoying it. Dave also says I can share the recipe with y'all, so I hope you enjoy it too! Aside from the carrots and celery, my own quantities are put in here - I make a lot less of it than Dave does, so I kept track of how much I used of each thing. Feel free to adjust quantities to your own liking, or to increase or decrease the size of the recipe.

1 - 1 1/4 pound beef shank bones
1 quart beef broth or stock
1 quart water (you can use stock here too, if you like)
1 onion, sliced or chopped to your preferred size
1 bay leaf (optional; I added this)

2 large carrots, chopped
2 large stalks of celery, chopped
1 potato, diced (optional; I was out of potatoes so I didn't add this)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 1/4 cup barley
water as needed
1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional - I forgot to put these in even though they were on the counter)

Combine first group of ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the meat is falling off the bones (this can take 90 minutes or more). Add more water/stock if needed. Remove beef and shred or chop the meat. Return to the pot, with the second group of ingredients (except mushrooms - only add those 10 minutes before serving). If you like your veggies more cooked, add the barley later - you want to time the barley so it's done cooking around the time the veggies are done to your liking. Makes about 10 cups of soup. When reheating, you may need to add more stock or water; I bought an extra box of beef broth for this purpose.


  1. I'm also a big fan of beef barley soup. It's hard to beat its hearty taste.

  2. Aaaawww shucks - thx for the Kudos. Its my Mom's recipe, to be fair. The beautiful thing about most hearty soups is how simple they are. Glad you enjoyed it!


    P.S. I put a bay leaf in as well! ;-)

  3. Mary,

    I totally agree. I love the heartier foods! They're especially perfect to eat right before a long day at work, where they'll keep you full for the duration.


    Oh, dang - couldn't remember if it was yours or your mom's, so I just put it as yours. :) P said to tell you that he thinks it's one of (if not the best) best soups I've served for dinner.

  4. Mmmm, so cozy and yummy! I love your photo - all the textures and colors are so gorgeous!

  5. Astra,

    It's a great soup! I've been eating it pretty much nonstop lately. Perfect fuel to keep me going all day.


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