Italian Beef Barley Soup

Italian Barley soup ingredients

Now that I have this wonderful beef stock on hand, I want to use it to its fullest advantage. This recipe is simple to make (and yes, you can use prepared stock) and is very hearty – just wonderful for these cooler autumn evenings. It’s a dish that can be made ahead and when you get home from work or a busy day with the kids, you have magic on hand.  All it really needs to complete the meal is some crusty bread and if you are feeling REALLY ambitious – a green salad. And leftovers are great to take for lunches. I’m just sayin’.

Italian Barley Soup   Italian Barley soup

Yield: 8 servings


1.5 quarts (6 cups) Homemade Beef Stock

2 cups water

3/4 cups barley

1 cup celery, diced

1 cup carrot, diced

1 cup yellow onion, peeled and chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced or crushed

1/2 cup hearty red wine

1 piece lemon peel (zest only, please) – about 2 inches by 1/2 inch

Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Kosher Salt to taste (I start with a teaspoon and add more if necessary)

1/2 Tablespoon dried basil

1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 bay leaves, dry or fresh

1/2 Tablespoon dried fresh rosemary

14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes

4 Tablespoons tomato paste

Fresh grated Parmesan, Romano, Asiago or Cubeddu cheese


  1. Bring the stock and water to a boil. Add the barley and turn the heat down to a light simmer. Add the holy trinity 0f carrots, celery and onion, garlic, red wine, lemon peel, salt and pepper and simmer covered for 2 hours. Stir frequently so the barley doesn’t stick.
  2. At the end of 2 hours, add the herbs, tomatoes and tomato paste. Cover and cook for on more hour. Continue to stir often so the barley doesn’t stick. Adjust seasonings.
  3. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and top with cheese.

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