This Mixed Bean Beef and Barley Soup is a great one for the stovetop, but made quicker in the Instant Pot. My trusted kitchen appliance never fails and for this comfort food classic soup of beef and barley, I like to add mixed beans to bulk it up.
This beef and barley soup is a classic, and while it’s not a stew or chili, it’s consistency tends to be. Feel free to thin this to suit your tastes with more beef broth after cooking if you so choose. This rich and hearty flavored soup is fortified with mixed beans while the beef gets a flavor weapon of Montreal Seasoning first before getting seared and caramelized for extra flavor.
I like to make my own Montreal Seasoning, but feel free to use store bought, although they tend to have way more salt added than necessary.
For my mixed beans I use black beans, green lentils, green split peas, pinto beans, white beans, red lentils, yellow split peas, red beans, adzuki beans and black eye peas round out the mix. I get it at most bulk food markets, but feel free to use what ever blend or mix you prefer.
I like to cook my barley separate on the stovetop so it doesn’t over cook and get mushy in the Dutch oven (stovetop version) or in the Instant Pot. Then I add it to the cooked beef and beans just before serving.
This stick-to-your-ribs beef and barley soup is sure to please and feeds a crowd.
For other soup recipes, try my Sweet and Spicy Baked Beans, Cream of Broccoli Soup with Butternut Squash, Pancetta and Feta, or a favorite, Creamy Black Lentils (Indian Dal Makhani). Need another barley recipe? I’ve got you covered with this Pineapple Shrimp Barley Salad. Enjoy!
Mixed Bean Beef and Barley Soup
- 1 lb boneless chuck roast diced
- 1 tbsp Montreal seasoning
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup mixed dried beans soaked overnight (See Note 1)
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 cup barley cooked
- salt to taste
- In a small saucepan, cook the barley per package directions. Drain any excess water and set aside.
- Mix the Montreal seasoning and diced beef together. In a skillet over medium-high heat add the oil and sear the beef on all sides until browned. Set aside.
- Coat the inside of Instant Pot or Dutch oven with cooking spray. Add the olive oil and sauté (Instant Pot setting of Sauté) the onion and celery until translucent. Add the tomato paste, garlic, black pepper and bay leaf. Stir and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Add the seared beef with all meat drippings, soaked and drained beans and beef broth. Stir to combine and cover with lid partially. Cook for 40 minutes on simmer if Dutch oven stove top or choose Beans setting on Instant Pot (Bean/Chili, 30 minutes, Normal, High Pressure).
- Remove lid and stir in cooked barley. Season to taste and serve. If to thick thin with more beef broth. This will thicken to a chili like consistency.
- Remove any debris from beans and cover with 2 inches of water in a bowl. Soak overnight and when ready to use, drain and rinse. Forgot to soak your beans? Here's a Quick Soak Method.
- Did you know: If you're converting meat from a slow cooker to an Instant Pot, follow this rule: if the meat dish cooks in eight hours on low or four hours on high in the slow cooker, it will cook in 25-30 minutes in the Instant Pot. Make sure the Instant Pot setting reads "sealing" and not "venting" to ensure it's cooked properly.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
I finally made it today. It is easy and so delicious. Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful recipes, Kevin. Everyone I have tried are all family favorites.
Excellent! So glad you enjoy them. Thanks for following along Bridgit.
Can I use canned beans
Yes you can Shannon.
1 cup of uncooked barley or 1 cup after cooked? I assume after. therefore about 1/3 cup uncooked.
This recipe does use 1 cup of cooked barley Jerry. I like to cook my barley separate on the stovetop so it doesn’t over cook and get mushy.
Hello, can I use regular pot instead of instant pot or Dutch oven ?
Olympia–If you go to the bottom of the recipe card you will see I have added some notes on converting to different cooking methods. Hope that helps! Thanks!
The flavors are great….but it took allot longer to cook before the beans and beef were tender. I love to cook, so I was prepared for it to take much longer than the directions. I’m not really a recipe person…but this caught my eye on FB bcuz I cook allot of different bean soups and freeze for lunch…I call them My grab and go’s. Lol. Thank you so much for the recipe…I will make again 🙂
Glad you enjoyed this one Tracy!
Just made this with moose meat and a wild rice blend (I didn’t have barley)… wow! Very very good
Now that sounds tasty Dianna! Thanks for coming back to let me know. 🙂
Kevin you’re a hell of a cook.
Well thanks for making my day Stacy! 🙂
I love Beef and Barley soup and adding mixed beans makes it even heartier! Sounds so good, Kevin!
Rib sticker and perfect for these colder evenings! Thanks Marissa. 🙂
Hey Kevin. This is pure comfort food to me and right now I could use a big bowl. I love beef and barley and the addition of beans makes it even better! PS I’ll keep you posted on Gary.
Hugs to you and Gary from San Diego Dorothy!