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Beef and Barley Soup

Use up that leftover roast beef by simmering it with beef broth, carrots, onions, potatoes and some hearty, healthy pot barley. | Share

Updated 1/28/2021

Easy, filling healthy and low cost

This is one of those recipes that stretches some leftover roast beef into a few hearty and healthy homemade lunches. Start by adding some carrots, onions and celery, to a large soup pot along with water and beef broth and get it boiling. Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes and chop up the roast beef into bite size pieces.  You’ll add them halfway through.  

For the beef broth you can either use homemade broth, store bought liquid broth or powdered broth mix. You can add any leftover beef gravy as well.  After simmering for an hour, the barley will swell and be very tender. The one cup of barley in this recipe will make a rather thick soup. If you’d like it less thick, reduce the barley to about ¾ cup.  What is not eaten right away can be portioned into containers for freezing. When reheating from frozen, you may want to add a little water or beef broth to thin it out a little. 

Barley. Photo: Steve Barker

Health benefits of barley

Besides being delicious, barley is a very healthy and versatile grain. When cooked, it has the consistency of pasta with a light nutty flavour.  According to the USDA, just 100 grams of hulled barley provides 68% of recommended daily dietary fiber, 24% protein. In this recipe, we use pot barley which is less refined that pearl barley. It still has most of the barley bran intact compared to pearl barley which is polished to remove the bran.  According to a claim approved by Health Canada, regular consumption of barley can reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health. As a high fiber grain, regular consumption of barley can provide such health benefits as improved digestion and reduced feelings of hunger, which can lead to weight loss. This superfood is also rich in several vitamins and minerals.

Lamb & Barley Scotch Broth

Beef and Barley Soup

Kevin Lamoureux
Use up that leftover roast beef by simmering it with beef broth, carrots, onions potatoes and some hearty, healthy pot barley.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Soup
Cuisine Irish
Servings 8
Calories 271 kcal


  • 2 quarts beef broth
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup pot barley
  • 1 cup celery finely chopped (about 2 ribs)
  • 1 cup yellow or Spanish onions finely chopped (about 1 large onion)
  • 1 cup carrots finely chopped (about 1 large carrot)
  • ¼ cup parsley finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups cooked roast beef finely chopped
  • 2 potatoes diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Wash the barley by soaking it in water for about 5 minutes then drain using a strainer.
  • Simmer all ingredients except the potatoes and beef in large soup pot for about 30 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes and beef. Simmer for another 30 minutes.


This soup is the beef variation of Scotch Broth which is traditionally made with lamb.
Keyword barley, beef, leftover, roast beef

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