Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup Like Grandma Made
Photo: Liz Rueven

Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup Like Grandma Made

This gently seasoned beef, barley and mushroom soup is a warming winter classic best served on a frigid day. The rich aromas will permeated your home with memories of sweet visits with your grandparents. The best part: basic ingredients come together in a comforting, glistening and nutritious dish that requires very little attention.

beef barley soup, slow cooker soups, kosher soup
Photo: Liz Rueven

A bit about texture: Barley absorbs liquid.

It’s just a fact of barley soup life that you’ll need to add hot liquid (slowly) to achieve the right texture when serving this soup. The broth is rich enough that using a few tablespoons of water will not affect the flavor, so don’t worry about that.

RESIST opening the slow cooker at any point during the cooking cycle. Each time you crack that lid you lose 20-30 minutes of cook time. The soup does NOT need to be stirred or checked up on. All will be well, promise!

beef barley soup, Jewish food, Jewish classic, kosher soup
Photo: Liz Rueven

This recipe was originally posted on The Nosher. I received some questions about making this soup vegetarian, which is easy enough: Switch the beef stock  for veggie stock. Forget the beef.  Add 1-2 Tb. of soy sauce and 1 generous Tb. of yellow miso to give the soup some depth.

If you’re going for the flavors your grandma achieved, it’s really better to use flanken or (not too lean) cubes of beef, though.

If you could eat one soup that your grandmother made, what would it be? 



  1. I make a vegetarian version. I use a bag of quick cook minestrone soup mix (I live in England). I add carrots and mushrooms. It tastes just like mom used to make. She added meat and definitely a bone so she could suck the marrow out of it. I’m making it tomorrow.

    • It’s so great to hear from you. I’m honored that you’re reading from across the pond 🙂 Your version sounds quick and easy, always a bonus! I recall some bone sucking happening around the table, too!

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