Fast Beef Barley Soup

Based on Martha Stewart’s recipe.


  • oil
  • Herbs like thyme, oregano, and/or rosemary
  • 2-lb beef cut into 0.5-1 inch cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • eight hard roots, chopped into 1-inch cubes (no smaller)
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, chopped into sizes similar to the veggies/meat
  • Stock or water
  • 2 cups barley soaked in boiling water
  • * half a bag of chopped veggies
  • * instead of veggies, if you’re using beets, wash the beet greens well, remove all bruised parts, and chop it up roughly (cross section) into ribbons. Cooking instructions are different.


  1. In a 6-quart soup pot, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat and herbs, and brown evenly, about 5 minutes. You will likely get a lot of juice coming out.
  2. Turn heat to medium, and add the onion and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes (do not walk away!)
  3. Add the roots and garlic and sweat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Add enough stock to just cover the ingredients (not more). 
  5. If using beet greens, add them now.
  6. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stir occasionally as the barley might stick to the bottom, until the barley is cooked and the meat is tender, about 60 minutes.
  7. If using chopped veggie, add chopped veggies and bring to a boil and simmer for 5 min and turn off heat

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