Crockpot Beef, Mushroom, Barley & Rosemary Soup

Beef, Mushroom & Barley SoupIt isn’t often that I cook with beef. I’m CHEAP, remember? But Omaha Steaks was having a sale and that’s my (frugal) chance to fill the freezer with steaks and burgers. Somehow I added Tri Tips to that order, apparently part of a package. Hmmm, really cold weather and chunks of beef at my culinary disposal. How hard is it to think Beef Barley Soup?  (To us Californians, cold is 40s. That’s cold, right??)  I wanted heartier!  Mushrooms, herbs. MORE! Big chunks of really good beef.

I can research other things to cook with the second packet of Tri Tips another time (please leave a comment with links to YOUR favorite Tri Tip recipes) but for now, soup. This recent tomato soup post on A Communal Table blog sparked my consideration of Herbs de Provence, and then I walked out the front door and chopped two sprigs of fresh rosemary off the hedge. That REALLY kicked up the flavor. Until today, the only Beef Barley Soup I’ve known was the red and white can… never enough barley or those teensy nuggets of beef. This, culinarily speaking, is waaaaaay better.

Crockpot Beef, Mushroom, Barley & Rosemary Soup

  • 10 ounces beef tri tips (frozen is OK)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb. button mushrooms, remove stems, clean and quarter
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 2 cans beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried Herbs de Provence
  • 2 Tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Place all ingredients except salt and rosemary into a 12-cup crockpot.  Fill with water to one inch below the top.  Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 7 hours.  During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the rosemary sprigs; salt to taste.  Remove rosemary before serving.

NOTE: The longer you cook, the thicker the soup gets; barley absorbs liquid and is starchy so it makes it creamy. Stir occasionally, if desired. Makes 12 cups.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Worth The Whisk December 14, 2010 at 8:00 am

Tiffani, try chicken thighs if you want to go beef-less. But for the beef, because it is slow cooked, you can use something like cubes of stewing beef as well.

2 Tiffani December 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm

This sounds yummy. And like another way to use up the bulk quantity of barley I ordered through the food co-op a while back. I’ll probably have to try a different cut of beef. I wonder what else might work?

3 Worth The Whisk December 6, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Elise, put the pearl barley in uncooked. It not only gives the soup that yummy hearty bite, it thickens the soup. You could do that with vegan soups, too.

4 elise December 6, 2010 at 2:13 pm

So you didn’t need to pre-cook the barley right? I just busted out my slow cooker too and I’m completely in love. FYI, I always associate you with crockpots. 🙂

5 Erika - In Erika's Kitchen December 4, 2010 at 8:47 pm

OH YES, this soup is going on my list. It looks fantastic. And I truly love barley.

6 Kelly December 3, 2010 at 7:34 am

Gorgeous. It’s the perfect time of year to pull out the slow cooker. I don’t eat a lot of beef as well, for similar reasons, so when I do I’m always stretching it out by making it into a pasta dish or egg rolls or like you, soup.

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