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5 from 46 votes

Old-Fashioned Hearty Beef Barley Soup

A satisfying soup that warms you from the inside out. The beef is slowly simmered and what remains is delicious broth that is made richer with the addition of red wine and spicy V-8 Juice.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 15 mins
Course: Hearty soup, main dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq, tailgating, picnic, outdoor cooking, camping dish, fall dish
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 377kcal
Author: Marisa Franca @ All Our Way


  • 3 pounds beef chuck - blade cut - 2 1/4 pounds ground and 3/4 pound diced may sub pork ** see notes below
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 medium stalks celery chopped
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley chopped
  • Thyme - 4 sprigs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 quart Spicy V-8 Juice
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 3/4 cup barley -- not instant
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • In a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot, over medium-high heat, brown the beef in 1 Tablespoon butter and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Salt and pepper the meat as it is browning. Once the beef is browned remove it and all the juices and place in a heat proof dish.
  • In the Dutch oven melt the remaining butter in the olive oil and sauté the celery and onion until they become soft and translucent. Do not brown. Stir in the garlic; sauté 1 minute.
  • Add the parsley, thyme sprigs and bay leaves . Continue to sauté for another minutes.
  • Add the beef back into the pot and mix thoroughly. Once all of the ingredients are evenly mixed add the Spicy V-8 Juice, beef broth and red wine. Heat to a low boil, add the barley and let it come to a simmer then cover.
  • Continue to cook covered stirring occasionally. Simmer for 4 - 5 hours until meat is tender and barley is done.
  • Taste again to make sure the salt and pepper is to your taste.


  • If you don't like spicy you can substitute regular V-8 for the spicy.
  • You may use boneless country style pork ribs for the meat in the same quantity as the beef.


Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 334mg | Potassium: 852mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 14.2% | Vitamin C: 26.6% | Calcium: 5.6% | Iron: 22.4%