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With only 15 minutes of prep, this Crockpot Vegetable Beef Barley Soup simmers all day to create a delicious and comforting meal loaded with vegetables and tender beef that your family will love!
It seems like I’m always on the hunt for easy meals I can serve to my family. But I also try to be super conscious about trying to make sure they contain a variety of protein and produce to make it a healthy meal also.
That’s what I love about this Crcokpot Vegetable Beef Barley Soup. It has a variety of vegetables, lean beef sirloin and whole grain barley making it a nutritious dinner choice! It’s a thick soup that’s almost more like a stew and my family loves it.
The best part is it requires a little prep up front. I just throw everything in my slow cooker and let it do its thing. I find this to be especially nice on weekends when we like to go out and about or just lie on the couch watching sports on tv!
I’m often catching up on other household duties like laundry on the weekends, too (because it never ends, am I right?), so at the end of the day, it’s great just to be able to dish up dinner and know that there’s very little clean up too! After a busy week, autumn Sundays seem to be our day to catch up, relax and just enjoy each other with a family meal.
Pair this easy Beef Barley Soup with some crusty bread or garlic bread and a garden salad. It really is so yummy!
Ingredient Tips To Make This Soup
The ingredients for this soup can easily be found at the grocery store. I’m sharing a few notes about some of them though to help make the most of your grocery budget.
Beef Top Sirloin Steak – Yes, this will be the priciest ingredient these days, but since this recipe serves 8 the overall cost to make this recipe is really not too bad. The top sirloin is a tender and leaner beef making it a bit healthier cut of beef, too. Look for sirloin steak to go on sale then you can cube it up and store in the freezer until you are ready to make this recipe. (Don’t forget to date and label it (affiliate link)!
Sliced Carrots and Chopped Onions and Bell Peppers – We like the larger sliced carrots but if you’re family prefers vegetables that are not quite so big, chop them just like the onions and bell peppers. I LOVE my handheld food chopper (affiliate link) to make the task easier.
Sometimes I will use frozen chopped green bell peppers and onions instead of fresh. I find these in the frozen vegetable section of the grocery store. These are so handy to keep in the freezer to use in soups and sauces. I also like to use frozen onions and green bell peppers in recipes like Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce or Crockpot Lasagna Soup.
Italian Herb Blend, plus Thyme and Rosemary – You can usually find these in the spice aisle of your grocery store. The Italian Herb Blend is something I use often like in these Italian Sloppy Joes. Leave out the dried thyme if you can’t find it or don’t think you’ll use it often. Or try using extra dried thyme in my Slow Cooker Ground Turkey Vegetable Barley Soup.
Barley – Depending on the grocery store, this can be a bit trickier to find. Sometimes I find barley on an upper shelf in the rice and dried bean aisle. Other times I find it in the cereal aisle near the oatmeal. It’s a healthy whole grain that adds some nice texture for this soup. (Or use it in the Ground Turkey Vegetable Soup I mentioned above). Look for quick-cooking or pearl barley to use in this recipe.
Beef Broth and Canned Diced Tomatoes – I usually buy the store brand of these ingredients to save just a little extra money!
How to Make This Recipe
In a large sauté pan (affiliate link), brown the beef pieces in the heated olive oil just until brown on all sides (1). Don’t cook them all the way otherwise they can be tough. Let the slow cooker (affiliate link). do the job of finishing the cooking!
In a 6-quart slow cooker (affiliate link), add all ingredients. (2)
Stir ingredients in crockpot to gently combine and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. (3)
This Crockpot Vegetable Beef Barley Soup is hearty, delicious and nutritious! (4)
Make Ahead Preparation Tips
There are a few ways to prep the ingredients ahead of time for this soup to save some time.
Cut the steak into cubes and store in airtight container (affiliate link) in the refrigerator up to a day in advance.
Prep the vegetables by chopping them ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator up to a day in advance. I love my handheld food chopper (affiliate link) for this task and these glass storage containers too (affiliate link).
Another timesaver is to measure out the dry herbs and barley ahead of time and store in an airtight container or bowl (affiliate link) at room temperature. You can actually store this herb mixture up to three months in advance! Just be sure you date and label it (affiliate link).
Is This Soup Freezer Friendly?
Yes! This soup freezes well after cooking too! I like to use my 2-cup Souper Cubes (affiliate link) to portion it out so that it’s easy to thaw just a serving or two when we want an easy lunch or dinner. Don’t forget to date and label (affiliate link) the container you store the soup in!
More Delicious Crockpot Soup Recipes
I love my slow cooker and it’s perfect for making soups! Here are a few more of our family’s favorites:
Crockpot Beef and Barley Soup
- 1 ½ pounds beef top sirloin steak cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ cups carrots peeled and sliced (about 3 medium)
- 1 cup yellow onion chopped
- 1 cup green bell pepper chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup pearl barley
- 32 ounces beef broth
- 2 cups water
- 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes ,undrained
- In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown beef pieces on all sides just until brown on the outside (not fully cooked).
- Remove pan from heat and set aside.
- In a 6-quart slow cooker, add carrots, onions, bell peppers, dried herbs, barley, beef broth, water, and tomatoes.
- Add browned beef to soup mixture and stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours.
Ingredient TipsLook for the dried herbs in the spice aisle of your grocery store. If you can’t find the Italian Herb Blend, you can substitute equal amounts of dried oregano and dried basil to equal the amount called for in the recipe. If you can’t find the thyme or prefer not to purchase it because you don’t know when you’ll use it again, it can be left out. Or you can use it in my Slow Cooker Turkey Vegetable Barley Soup. Barley – Look for barley (or pearl barley) on the same aisle as the rice and dried beans or on the cereal aisle near the oatmeal. It just depends on the store as to where to find it. I usually find it on and upper shelf. It’s a healthy whole grain that adds some nice texture for this soup (and can also be used in the Turkey Vegetable Soup I mentioned above).
Make Ahead Preparation TipsThere are a few ways to prep the ingredients ahead of time for this soup to save some time. The steak can be cut into cubes and stored in airtight container (affiliate link) in the refrigerator up to a day in advance. The same can be done for the carrots, onion and green bell pepper. These vegetables can be stored in the same container since you’ll be adding them all to the slow cooker at the same time anyway. Another timesaver is to measure out the dry herbs and barley ahead of time and store in an airtight bowl (affiliate link) at room temperature. This can actually be done up to three months in advance! Just be sure you date and label (affiliate link) it. Is This Soup Freezer Friendly? Yes! This soup freezes well after it’s cooked. I like to use my 2-cup Souper Cubes (affiliate link) to portion it out so that it’s easy to thaw just a serving or two when we want an easy lunch or dinner. Don’t forget to date and label (affiliate link) the container you store the soup in!
This recipe was originally posted in October 2015 but updated in September 2021 with new photos, content and video.
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