Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 to 10 servings
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.
  • 3 pound (1.36 k) boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry red wine
  • 1 (28 ounce/794 g) can diced tomatoes with the juice
  • 4 cups (946 ml) low sodium beef broth (or homemade stock)
  • 4 cups (946 ml) low sodium chicken broth (or homemade stock)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2/3 cup (132 g) pearl barley
  • 1/4 cup (10 g) minced fresh parsley (hold until the end)
  1. Dry the beef pieces with some paper towels, and then season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in the large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown half of the beef, then add to the slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining beef.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of oil to the large skillet and saute the onions and carrots with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the wine, scraping up the brown bits (fond). Simmer until the wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Pour it all into the slow cooker.
  4. Add the tomatoes and juice, beef and chicken broth, thyme, and pearl barley and cover. Cook until the beef is tender, about 6 to 7 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.
  5. Add the fresh parsley and serve.
More Information

large skillet
6-quart slow cooker

Recipe Notes:

You can also make this the night before, then refrigerate until dinner and rewarm.
Recipe by Andrea Meyers at