Beef & Barley Soup

Beef & Barley Soup

When you are looking for a soup that is impressive enough for company this Beef & Barley soup is your  wintertime go to. The secret ingredient is rich beef oxtails. This misunderstood protein actually used to come from an ox!

Watch how to make this soup:

What is Oxtail?

 Since we seem to be fresh out of ox at the grocery store what you will actually buy is the skinned tail of a cow. Don’t click away in fear of cooking a tail~! You can do this! As the bone marrow in the center melts into the broth your kitchen will smell amazing. And when you taste it you will give yourself a gold star for rocking this one out. The texture that all of that collagen in the marrow gives this soup is heaven! Serve this for dinner it will literally melt the cold off of anyone’s face that tries it.

How Do I Buy Oxtail?

Buying oxtail from your local butcher is the best option. If that is not happening today (Arrg Parking!) look for the larger pieces with more meat on the bones at the grocery store. You will sometimes find them frozen don’t worry they will still taste great! This soup starts by searing the oxtails so the larger they are the easier it will be to get that done quickly. (if you didn’t read this the butcher would give you a zillion little pieces with no meat) like this:

What about the Barley?

Barley is one of the cereal grains (seeds that come from grasses) and when it is not being made into beer or whiskey it is fabulous in this soup. When you are at the market look for pearled barley which has been polished to remove its hull and bran (this makes it cook way easier so thank you barley polishing fairies!). When everyone shows up the hardest thing you have to do is sit still because you wont be doing any last minute cooking!


Beef Barley And Mushroom Soup

When its cold outside nothing beats a steaming bowl of soup, and when you make it at home the extra bonus is the inviting smell that hits anyone coming through the front door. This richness from the beef oxtails combined with the earthy mushrooms is sure to melt away the cold and stress from even the busiest day.

  • Author: Theodore
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 Servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


2T canola oil
2 pounds beef oxtails
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts
2 cups (1/2-inch) diced carrots
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup (1/2-inch) diced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
8 peppercorns
10 cups beef broth (canned or homemade)
1 cup pearled barley
1lb cremini mushrooms, sliced
2T unsalted butter
2T olive oil
5 sprigs parsley, chopped


Dry the oxtails with paper towels and season with 1.5 teaspoons salt. Heat canola oil in a large pot or Dutch oven and sear over medium-high heat in batches (don’t crowd) until golden brown. Flip and repeat until browned on all sides remove the oxtails to a plate and hold.

Next add the leeks, carrots, onion & celery to the the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring until the vegetables start to brown (10-12 min) Add in the garlic until fragrant (30 seconds) Assemble the thyme, bay laves & peppercorns into a cheesecloth sachet.

Now add the broth, herb hatchet & oxtails to the pot. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer & cover for 1 hour. While that cooks bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the barley. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, drain, and set aside. (or cook in an instant pot & hold)

While the soup simmers heat 1 tablespoon each olive oil & butter in a 10 inch skillet and sauté the mushrooms until golden brown. Reserve half of the mushrooms as a garnish and add the other half to the soup.

When the soup is ready take out the herb sachet, add the barley and taste for seasoning . Take out the oxtails and remove the meat from the bones using a knife and fork, return the meat to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve in warmed bowls and garnish with the other half of the mushrooms & chopped parsley.

Keywords: beef, barley, soup, mushroom

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