Beef Barley Soup

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This is one of my favorite homemade soups.  It’s very hearty, filling and very tasty!  Barley is a very healthy grain to fit into your diet once in awhile.  To keep this down to what I consider low enough carbs I would limit the barley to 1/4 c. raw.  It swells when cooked, so it’s more than you think.  This soup is not suitable until the grains rung of the Atkins OWL ladder.  Though this soup is a little high in carbs, it it extremely nutritious as you can see by the stats below.  You can use chicken stock in lieu of the water if you prefer a richer soup.


22 oz. beef (shank, chuck or sirloin), chopped fairly small

2   14-oz cans tomatoes, crushed or diced, (no-salt added)

4 c. water

1½ T. bacon grease or oil of your choice

¼ c. pearl barley

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 c. green cabbage, shredded

Dash salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:  In large soup pot, brown meat in the bacon grease over high heat.  Add all remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to lowest setting possible and simmer covered for about an hour.  Stir occasionally to be sure barley is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.  It has a tendency to do so as is swells and as water evaporates.  Add more water if needed to prevent this from happening.  Serve with your favorite low-carb bread or crackers.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes about 6 servings (about 1½ c. each) with each containing:

222 calories

7.33 g  fat

11.87 g  carbs, 2.68 g  fiber, 9.19 g  NET CARBS

24.67 g  protein

96 mg sodium

457 mg potassium

36% RDA B6, 144% B12, 22% C, 43% iron, 46% niacin, 34% phosphorous, 22% riboflavin, 39% selenium and 93% zinc  (what did I tell ya? :))

7 comments on “Beef Barley Soup

  1. Sounds wonderful Peggy. Do you think it would be as good if I subed Miracle Noodles Rice for the barley. If so, How would that effect the total carb count?
    Thank you,


    • Well it will make a beef noodle soup with the tiny round chewy bits, texture and appearance wise. But of course you won’t get that distinctive barley flavor. But I’m trying to stop eating grains now, shifting to a more Paleo way of eating, so I will have to try your alternate next time on this as well, Sue. We’ll just have to see if that will “be as good”.🙂


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