Red Wine Beef Barley Soup

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This red wine beef barley soup is the perfect comfort food recipe. The red wine gives the broth and extra layer of dimension.

You know those days where it’s cold out and you just want comfort food?  It was one of those days.  And I had the extra time to make something good for dinner so I started thinking of meals that I normally can’t make when I am in a time crunch.  Honestly, that’s usually a lot of food with meat in it since meat takes longer to cook than a bunch of veggies.  So I decided to whip up some red wine beef barley soup for dinner.

Layers of flavor

One thing I learned over the years of cooking is to really layer flavor.  So that usually means seasoning EVERY step in a recipe and adjusting accordingly.  Here are tips and tricks to layer even more flavor into this soup:

  1. Brown your meat first – this will add not only flavor to the meat itself but the soup because of those brown bits left on the bottom
  2. Season every step – I season my meat with salt and pepper, then once the veggies go in they get salt and pepper
  3. Use low sodium broth so you can control the salt content 
  4. Use fresh herbs – they taste way better than the dried ones and are stronger!
  5. Cooking with wine– this helps add a dimension and depth of flavor.  If you don’t know what to use ask the person at the store you go to for a recommendation

Oh no!  Where did the broth go?

One of the things I hate about making soups is when the grain/pasta/rice soaks up all the broth from the soup.  All of a sudden your soup becomes really thick (which sometimes is ok) but then you are left adjusting everything.  And additionally, no one wants to have to add flavorless water to thin out a flavor packed soup.

Besides always having boxes and boxes of pre-made broth on hand I also try to prevent it from happening in the first place.  How you may ask?  By cooking your grains separate. If your grain or pasta is already cooked it won’t need to absorb all of the liquid from the soup to cook.  In this red wine beef barley soup recipe as the soup is cooking the barley is too – in a separate pot!  This also allows you to add more flavor to the barley as well!

Putting it all together

Once the meat and veggies have cooked low and low in that flavorful red wine broth and the barley is cooked it’s time to put it all together.  I like to stir all the barley into the soup, however you could put a scoop of barley in a bowl and ladle the soup on top.  The barley will absorb a little broth though so if you have leftovers you may have to add broth the next day to thin it all out.  

So the next time you have a little more time on your hands than usual try this red wine beef barley soup.  It will hit the spot if you are craving a delish comfort food type meal.  And if you do be sure to rate and comment below and tag me on Instagram!

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Red Wine Beef Barley Soup


This red wine beef barley soup is the perfect comfort food recipe. The red wine gives the broth and extra layer of dimension.


Units Scale
  • 1.5 lb stew meat
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 3 medium carrots, small dice (I cut in half length wise and then slice)
  • 78 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, medium dice
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 of 750 ml bottle red wine, something you would drink – I used a Bordeux in this and it turned out SO good. A Cabernet, Chianti or red blend would also work
  • Fresh thyme/rosemary, 3-4 sprigs of each bundled together with kitchen twine (or just pick out the stems later but that’s more work)
  • 3 c beef broth (I like low sodium to control the salt myself)
  • 16 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Parmesan rinds
  • 1 lb golden potatoes, diced
  • 1 c cut green beans (frozen work here!)

For the barley:

  • 1 c barley (hulled or pearled – don’t get quick cook)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced in half
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 3 c broth (I used chicken but beef or veggie work here as well!)


  1. Season the stew meat LIBERALLY (you want to see the salt and pepper on the meat) then toss in the flour
  2. In a large soup pot or dutch oven heat 2 TBS fat (olive oil, butter, bacon fat, whatever your preferred fat may be) over medium heat.  Add in the beef and sear 2 minutes a side until the beef is golden brown.  You may have to do this in batches.  Don’t crowd the pan you want one layer.  Remove beef and set aside.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium-medium low.  Add 1 additional TBS of fat, sauté onions, celery and carrots for 5 minutes so they soften.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.  As the veggies cook scrape up the brown bits leftover from the meat.  Those are flavor bombs!
  4. Add the wine and turn the heat up to medium high to bring to a gentle boil.  Cook until the wine is reduced by half.
  5. Turn heat down to medium low, add in tomatoes, 2 c of beef broth, the beef, garlic, and parmesan rinds cook for an hour stirring occasionally.  
  6. While the soup is simmering, cook your barley.  Follow the instructions on the barley for cook time.  Use the broth instead of water and add in the thyme, garlic and butter with the broth.  This will give the barley more flavor.
  7. After the soup cooks for an hour add in potatoes and beans cook 15 minutes.
  8. Add the barley into the soup (additionally you can leave separate and serve soup over the barley)
  9. At this point if the soup is really thick you can add in the last cup of broth to thin it out.  If you like it more stew like leave it as is.  
  10. Serve and enjoy!


  • The barley will sop up some of the broth from the soup so the next day the soup maybe thicker, thin out with water or more broth if desired.
  • Prep Time: 10M
  • Cook Time: 1H30M

Keywords: soup, beef, barley, comfort food, red wine

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