Beef Barley Soup

Somehow, none of us managed to eat breakfast this morning (including Charlie, who never asked for it), so on our way to run errands, we stopped off at Los Tios, one of Charlie’s all-time favorite restaurants. He goes there with Pamela and nanny friends and their charges, so the wait staff know him. It’s funny when you show up to a restaurant with your kid and the staff welcome him like a friend.

Anyway, Mexican food makes for a heavy lunch, so I wanted something light for dinner – and that I could portion out for lunches during the week as well. After spending a cool, damp afternoon at the park, soup seemed like the obvious choice.

Thanks to my friend Susie, I discovered a great food blog called Skinny Taste. The author posted a recipe for Beef Barley Soup that I’ve wanted to try, so that was on the menu tonight.

Beef Barley Soup from Skinny Taste:


  • This soup is reminiscent of beef stew – carrots, celery, onion, stew beef, bay leaves – which I love, but it is much lighter, since the beef is just browned in a small amount of oil rather than dredged in flour and the broth is just water. You could use beef broth instead, I’m sure, but I didn’t think the soup needed it.
  • Barley is an ingredient I don’t use very often, but I really like. I only had Quaker Quick Pearled Barley, though – next time, I’d try a different brand. The Quaker is a little thin, more like oats than what I think of as barley.

Cons: Neither of the boys in my house wanted to eat this. I was really making this one for me as well, so that I’d have some from-home lunches this week, but I’m still hoping to get Charlie to try it. (The husband isn’t much of a beef eater, especially stew meat, so I knew he would pass.)

Make again?  Yep, for sure. It’s quicker, easier, and lighter than beef stew.

Recipe variation? I didn’t have a white or yellow onion in the house like I’d thought, and I didn’t want to use red.  Luckily we had several shallots, so I used them instead – and I think the slightly milder flavor of the shallots was a plus in this soup. I’m planning to swap onion for shallot the next time around too.

So far, so good – for me, at least!  Hopefully the next recipe will be a family hit!


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