quick beef and barley soup

Barley is an excellent source of beta-glucans, a plant fiber believed to be beneficial in the treatment of diabetes and associated cardiovascular risks. Scientific research suggests that the consumption of beta-glucans can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce insulin resistance, and improve high blood pressure.

Adapted from “Eating Well”

Cooking time:23 minutes

Recipe serves: 6 servings


  • 8 ounces sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar


  1. Sprinkle the steak with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the steak and cook, stirring often, until the meat is browned on all sides (about 2 minutes). Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, onion, and celery to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring, until the onion and celery begin to soften (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add the carrot and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Stir until the vegetables are coated with tomato paste and are beginning to brown (1 to 2 minutes).
  5. Mix in the barley, broth, water, salt, and the remaining black pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the barley is tender (about 15 minutes).
  6. Add the cooked beef and any accumulated juices to the Dutch oven and heat through (1 to 2 minutes).
  7. Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in vinegar.

Never Miss a Beat!

Get Healthy Tips Sent to Your Phone!

Message and data rates may apply. Text the word STOP to opt out and HELP for help. Click here to view the privacy and terms.

About UPMC Harrisburg

UPMC Harrisburg is a nationally recognized leader in providing high-quality, patient-centered health care services in south central PA. and surrounding rural communities. UPMC Harrisburg includes seven acute care hospitals and over 160 outpatient clinics and ancillary facilities serving Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, York, Lancaster, Lebanon, Juniata, Franklin, Adams, and parts of Snyder counties. These locations care for more than 1.2 million area residents yearly, providing life-saving emergency care, essential primary care, and leading-edge diagnostic services. Its cardiovascular program is nationally recognized for its innovation and quality. It also leads the region with its cancer, neurology, transplant, obstetrics-gynecology, maternity care, and orthopaedic programs.