person holding a bowl of hamburger barley soup

Homemade Hamburger Barley Soup

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cups 1x


Homemade hamburger barley soup is an easy stovetop recipe made with beef broth, ground beef, vegetables and barley.  Serve this healthy, low carb, and low cholesterol comfort food to your family for dinner tonight!



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef, 80% lean meat (566g)
  • 1 cup onion, chopped (178g)
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped (268g)
  • 1 cup celery, chopped (158g)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 6 ounces tomato paste (170g)
  • 28 ounces petite diced tomatoes (793g)
  • 4 cups beef stock (946 ml)
  • 2 cups water (473 ml)
  • 1/2 cup dried barley (103g)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme


Stovetop Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven set over medium high heat.  Add the hamburger and cook until all the pink is gone, roughly 5 minutes.  Make sure to break up the meat into smaller pieces as it cooks.  Drain off any excess fat, and place the cooked hamburger in a bowl.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and turn the heat to medium high.  Saute the onions, carrots, and celery until soft, roughly 7 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the cooked hamburger and the rest of the ingredients into the pot.  Stir well and cover.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for two hours with the lid on.  During the last 30 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings if desired.  Leave the lid off for the last 15 minutes.  Remember to remove the two bay leaves before serving.
  4. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves and serve hot.  Note that the soup may thicken when cooled.

Crock Pot Instructions

  1. Start by browning the hamburger and draining the fat on the stovetop.
  2. Sauté the vegetables in the same pot on the stovetop.
  3. Transfer the cooked hamburger and vegetables to a crock pot, then add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir well and cover.
  4. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, or on low for 8 hours.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Remove the bay leaves before serving.  Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves for a finishing touch.


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  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: easy, homemade, ground beef

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