Leeky Beef Barley Soup

January  3, 2013
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

There recently was an article about the health benefits of bone broth in the online edition of the Oregonian. When the leek contest was announced my first thought was use the bone broth as a base for a beef barley soup. The leek-infused homemade stock helps to create a rich and satisfying soup that's perfect for a blustery winter day. —hardlikearmour

What You'll Need
  • Roasted Beef Bone Stock
  • 2.25-2.5 lbs beef short ribs or other meaty beef bones
  • 2 large leeks - darker green halves only
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 to 8 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 8 allspice berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • water
  • Leeky Beef Barley Soup
  • 1 1/4 lb tri-tip or tip sirloin roast, or hanger or flank steak
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce, plus additional to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large leeks - lighter halves only
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 medium to large cloves garlic
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2/3 cup pearl barley
  • Roasted Beef Bone Stock
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • black pepper
  1. Roasted Beef Bone Stock
  2. Preheat oven to 425º F. Arrange bones in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Roast 20 minutes. While bones are roasting, cut leeks in half crosswise, reserving the lighter colored halves for use in the soup. Cut the darker halves in half lengthwise and wash the grit from between the layers. After 20 minutes, turn the bones and place the leeks between them on the roasting pan. Roast an additional 30 minutes.
  3. Cut celery into 2-inch lengths and place in 6 to 8 quart stock pot. Add thyme, parsley, allspice, bay leaf, and salt to the stock pot. Using tongs transfer the bones and leeks to the stockpot. Pour 2 cups of water into the roasting pan, and scrape up the browned bits using a wooden spoon. Add to stockpot along with an additional 2 1/2 quarts of water. If the bones are not covered in water, add more.
  4. Bring stock to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low or lower to maintain a very gentle simmer. Simmer for 6 or more hours, skimming the foam off the surface and adding water as needed to keep the bones covered.
  5. Strain the stock into a large non-reactive bowl or container. Cool stock completely (consider placing in an ice-bath to speed the process), then refrigerate. Scrape off the fat before using. (If you want to use immediately, skim the fat off the surface and discard.)
  1. Leeky Beef Barley Soup
  2. Cut beef into bite sized pieces. Toss beef with 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce in a bowl and set aside. Remove roots and cut leeks in half lengthwise. Rinse dirt from between layers, then cut leeks into 1/4-inch thick half moons. Peel carrots and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices or half-moons depending on diameter of carrots. Mince garlic, keeping separate from the leeks and carrots.
  3. Heat olive oil in stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add beef to stockpot. Cook until beef is caramelized on 2 or more sides, stirring occasionally. Remove beef back into the bowl and set aside.
  4. Add leeks, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to the pot, and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add minced garlic, and cook, stirring continuously until fragrant about 1 minute.
  5. Add red wine and cook until most of liquid has evaporated. Add reserved beef, barley, and stock. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until barley is softened and beef is tender, about 45 minutes.
  6. Add chopped parsley, and season to taste with black pepper, salt, and additional Worchestersire. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • KelseyB
  • gingerroot
  • aargersi
  • lapadia
  • hardlikearmour
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.

8 Reviews

KelseyB September 14, 2023
In step 2 there is nothing saying to separate the meat from the bones. Was it supposed to fall off? I reread step 2 several times and am shaking my head at my own mistake. My short rib meat has now been cooked for 7 hours.
gingerroot January 10, 2013
It's been cool, wet and windy here and this looks like the perfect supper soup. Yum.
hardlikearmour January 10, 2013
Thanks, gingerroot! Out of curiosity, what's your definition of cool?
gingerroot January 10, 2013
ha, I can only tell if you promise not to send me rotten tomatoes. Also, keep in mind we are not built for the cold, our blood or our homes. Hm, maybe mid 60's with gusty trade winds and rain?
aargersi January 6, 2013
This sounds fantastic HLA - I love the bone stock. I think I need to try a venison version of this next time a nephew brings me some.
hardlikearmour January 6, 2013
Thank you, A! I bet it would be great with venison - just pick a fairly loose-textured cut so it cooks up and just starts to fall apart in a 45-50 minute time frame.
lapadia January 4, 2013
What a coincidence, I made beef/barley (only with farro) just the other day and thought about pulling some leeks out of the garden...it was too cold and rainy so didn't. Anyway, thanks for sharing your version and tips!
hardlikearmour January 5, 2013
Beef soup is great with the weather we've been having! The leeks are really nice in it.