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Hearty Beef Soup

by , on
Oct 22, 2015

“Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living.  For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.”
by Louis P. De Gouy

Is it fall where you are?  If so, this Hearty Beef Soup needs to be on your menu and in your tummy!  I have a hard time making and serving soups when it’s 95° and 95% humidity outside, but as soon as the cool and crisp weather of fall arrives, you can find soup on our table at least once a week.beef-barley-soup-1

With our daughter a quick 2.5 hours away in college, we have made several up and backs this fall to celebrate her birthday and to bring her to or from school for break.  These quick trips usually have us arriving back home mid to late afternoon, so I’ve put my slow cooker to good use so that dinner is ready when we return home.  Here in southeastern North Carolina it seems like fall really arrived this past weekend, so I was hankering for a good soup for our Sunday dinner.  This nourishing hearty beef soup is full of the rich flavor that is often lacking when just using beef broth.  Searing the stew meat as well as some beef shanks, really ups the flavor and heartiness of this outstanding and nourishing soup.  Adding dried porcini mushrooms gives it the earthiness that I look for in a beef soup.

I cut the stew meat into small, half-inch to one-inch pieces for two reasons: more surface area to sear thereby adding extra flavor and the smaller pieces ensures that they’ll cook enough to be tender.

Hearty Beef Soup

Hearty Beef Soup

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

A hearty and nourishing Beef Soup recipe


  • 2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces
  • 2-3 pounds beef shanks, excess fat cut off
  • 8 cups beef broth or water or a combination
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, chopped by hand or in food processor
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 cup kidney beans that have been soaked overnight.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil to brown meat
  • Cooked barley, optional


  1. Heat oil in heavy pan, I used my large cast iron skillet.
  2. With heat at medium high to high, working in batches sear your cubes of stew meat until browned on all sides, adding oil as necessary.
  3. Put stew meat in your slowcooker or in a heavy pot if you are using your stove top.
  4. Adding oil if necessary, brown your shanks on all sides.
  5. Place shanks in slowcooker or pot
  6. Add remaining ingredients and cook in slowcooker on LOW for 9-10 hours or on the stovetop on simmer for 2-3 hours.
  7. If cooking on stovetop, you may need to add some additional liquid if it evaporates.
  8. If gluten is not an issue, add some to your soup as desired. I try to avoid unnecesarry gluten and it is plenty hearty without the barley.

Serve this delicious, filling and nourishing soup with a salad and bread (for the bread eaters out there) for a complete meal.  beef-barley-soup-1-2











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  1. Rachel

    October 27, 2015 at 11:45 am

    This soup would be perfect on this rainy cold day. I like that it can be made in the crock pot.

    • lynn

      October 27, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Rachel, it is cold and rainy here too. In fact notice you’re in the Triangle…I’m in Wilmington, so our weather is not too different. Up in your neck of the woods often with my daughter at Chapel Hill. Love it up there. Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy the soup.

  2. Paula

    October 28, 2015 at 3:07 am

    Hi Lynn!
    I have been looking at your blog tonight and I LOVE it! You have some awesome DIY’s and recipes. Thank you for sharing them and your life with us! I would love to receive your emails but I’m unable to subscribe. I only have my phone, right now, to use online and your subscription box is not showing up. If you could sign me up using my email addy that I provided here I would really appreciate it. If you cannot do this, please contact me and let me know how I can, if I can subscribe. Thank you for a fantabulous blog and for your help! Paula

    • lynn

      October 28, 2015 at 6:42 am

      Good Morning Paula, I will gladly sign you up and thanks for pointing out that my mobile site is not allowing for that…Hmmm….need to figure that out. I really appreciate your very kind message and encouraging words and hope that you will continue to find enjoyment from them. Wishing you a great day!?

      • Paula

        October 28, 2015 at 5:15 pm

        Thank you so much for all your help Lynn. I really appreciate it!

        I can hardly wait to make this soup. Normally I do not like shopping at all, especially grocery shopping! This week, I find myself looking forward to it, I have so many new things to try!? Thank you for the delicious recipes AND I love that you are also sharing crafting and recycling/upcycling ideas with us!? I hope you have an awesome evening! Paula

        • lynn

          October 28, 2015 at 6:20 pm

          No problem Paula! We were happy to do it!

  3. Sarah @ 2paws Designs

    October 28, 2015 at 9:24 am

    This looks delicious! I love making soups on fall & winter days. Easy, tasty and warms us up. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. Kate (My Mommy Brain)

    October 28, 2015 at 9:25 am

    This looks delicious! Perfect for a cold, rainy day!

    • lynn

      October 28, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Hi Kate, I’ve got to admit that it is perfect for a cold rainy day. Hope you enjoy it!

    • lynn

      October 28, 2015 at 10:16 am

      Thanks Kate, it really is just perfect for a cool fall day. I hope you enjoy it!


  5. Trish

    October 29, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Now you’re talking my language! I love my slow-cooker and get so excited finding new recipes. This looks and sounds delicious! If I try it, I’ll share my pics with you. 🙂

    • lynn

      October 29, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks Trish! I love mine as well, aren’t they great?! Please do share your pics, love to see them! Enjoy!

  6. chellie

    December 30, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Lynn this looks delicious! We finally have snow here in the mitten and this looks like the perfect dish to warm me up! Thanks for your tips on making the broth more rich.

    • lynn

      December 30, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      Hi Chellie, I hope you enjoy it. We’re actually having leftover Beef Soup tonight, and you know soup is always better the second night.

  7. Nikki Frank-Hamilton

    January 2, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    This is right up my alley. I love to warm up from the inside out and this would also satisfy my husbands love for beef, while I sneak in as many veggies as I can! LOL I am pinning this so I can pull it up at the grocery! Thanks for sharing the recipe it’s going into our soup rotation!

    • lynn

      January 2, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Hey Nikki, I just made it again this past week and while still delish, think it’s really best if made in a slow cooker if possible. Enjoy it! It really is hearty, nourishing and satisfying…one of those dishes that you know is doing your body good. Have a great rest of your weekend.


  8. Marie from The Interior Frugalista

    January 5, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I could use a nice warm bowl of this soup right about now. It’s VERY cold here in the Canadian Prairies today. Thanks for the recipe – pinned to share and make when time permits!

    • lynn

      January 5, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Hi Marie, winter FINALLY arrived here in the US Southeast, and it came with a vengeance. This soup is just perfect for a cold winter night. It is just so hearty and nourishing. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
      Happy New Year, Lynn


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