Tomato beef barley soup is a delicious slow cooker dish filled with a beefy tomato-based broth, tender chunks of meat, flavorful veggies, and soft, chewy barley. A perfect one-pot, dump-and-go meal.
Soup may be the most versatile dish around. It can be an appetizer, side dish, quick intermezzo, or a complete meal. It's popular all year round - but so particularly satisfying in colder months.
Soup is soothing you when you aren't feeling well yet satiating when you are famished. It can be the perfect way to turn scant leftovers into a full meal. Yet, it can also be a culinary masterpiece requiring you to search high and low for rare ingredients.
But - best of all is how well suited for the crockpot many soups are. There just seem to be endless recipes that are made extra wonderful by allowing them to cook low and slow.
How to make itJump to recipe card for exact quantities
To make this easy mushroom barley slow cooker recipe, you will need:
- chuck roast or stew meat
- beef broth
- crushed tomatoes
- dried shiitake mushrooms
- minced garlic
- bay leaves
- worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper
This is a voluminous recipe, so to start off, make sure you are using a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. Other than that, this is a straightforward and easy to assemble dish, No special instructions. Add all ingredients into your slow cooker, except the salt. That can be added to taste, if needed, after the cooking time. A true "dump and go" slow cooker treat!
How To Serve
Homemade beef and barley soup is a full meal on its own. Protein, grains, and vegetables all in one bowl. It is great served with some warm crusty bread. A cool crisp side salad also makes for a wonderful pairing.
Crunchy crackers, such as soda crackers. multi-grain crackers or water biscuits also add some texture and flavor diversity when served with this soup. A sweet bread such as raisin or cornbread/muffin also makes for a perfect go-with.
How To Store Leftovers
Soup leftovers store really well in airtight containers or zipper topped bags. They will stay fresh for about 3-4 days this way. One great way to store leftovers is in a mini food warmer! (here is a different brand). It makes for a super way to transport and reheat leftovers.
This slow cooker soup can also be frozen. Airtight containers and/or zipper topped bags both work well for freezing. Frozen soup lasts anywhere from 3-4 months and can be easily defrosted by stovetop, microwave, or even slow cooker.
During the freezing and defrosting process, your soup may become thick. I personally love it like that, however if you prefer it thinner, you can add some additional beef broth to it.
Hints & Hacks
- Shiitake mushrooms can be omitted if you would like. They add a nice earthy flavor, but are fully optional here.
- This soup calls for diced celery, carrots and onion. To keep things extra lazy, you can buy prepackaged cut veggies or mirepoix. Both fresh or frozen work equally well. Because I am always looking for shortcuts, I cut up celery, carrots and onion in advance and freeze them so they are always on hand for dishes like this one.
- This is a great make-in-advance recipe. You can assemble all ingredients other than barley the night before. Barley can be carefully added at the time you are ready to commence cooking.
- Love barley? Here is another great crockpot recipe with barley!
- This is a great dish if your people will be eating at different times. After the cooking time, turn your slow cooker to warm (or have it automatically switch to warm if your slow cooker has this feature) and everyone can have a hot and filling meal, no matter what time of the evening they are ready to eat.
- I always recommend the use of a slow cooker liner. Of course, this is an optional step. I like to purchase my liners in bulk for a less expensive per-piece price. Here are the liners I buy.
- In the market for a new slow cooker? Here is the one I am currently lusting after.
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Lazy Tomato Beef Barley Soup Recipe
- 6 quart slow cooker or larger
- can opener
- Mixing Spoon
- slow cooker liner (optional)
- 2 lbs beef cut into cubes or stew meat
- 28 oz can crushed tomato
- 1 cup carrots, diced about 2 carrots
- 1 cup celery, diced 2-3 large stalks
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup barley
- 5-6 pieces sliced, dried shiitake mushroom can use about 10 fresh mushrooms, sliced instead
- 1½ tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Steak/Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 8 cups beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- place liner in slow cooker, if using
- add all ingredients except bay leaves into slow cooker and stir
- place bay leaves on top and cover
- cook on low for 8-10 hours
- remove bay leaves prior to serving.
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