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Swanson Blog / Real Food / Low Carb

Vegetable Beef Barley Soup

Low Carb
Low Fat
Low Sodium
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vegetable beef barley soup

Who doesn’t love the smell of homemade soup wafting through the kitchen on a cold winter evening?

Nutritious barley, hearty beef and colorful veggies combine to make this soup recipe one worth adding to your favorites. Pearl barley is an ancient grain known as a delicious source of dietary fiber, and is the perfect complement to mushrooms and beef.

This low-calorie soup will become a family favorite, as it’s just as convenient as it is delicious. Throw the ingredients in a slow cooker and a few hours later you’ve got the perfect dinner dish!

Time:  4.5 hours
Serves: 8
Serving size: 1.5 cups


  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound lean beef stew meat, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 3/4 teaspoons beef base
  • 14 1/2 ounces canned diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons parsley leaves, optional


1. While chopping vegetables, prepare beef broth. In a large pot, dissolve 6 3/4 teaspoons (equal to 2 tablespoons + 1/4 teaspoon) beef broth powder in 6 cups of boiling water. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat.
3. Dry off the meat with paper towels and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the meat to the pan and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total.
4. Transfer to a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker.
5. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the skillet. Add the onion and saute until the onion begins to soften, roughly four minutes. Stir frequently. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
6. Move the mixture from the skillet into the slow cooker.
7. Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms, broth, tomatoes, barley and thyme to the slow cooker and stir to mix well.
8. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm with a sprinkling of parsley, if desired.

Adapted from Simple Nourished Living.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

  • Calories182
  • Fat 5 grams [Saturated Fat 1.1 g, Trans Fat 0 g, Monounsaturated Fat 1.8 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g]
  • Protein 15.3 grams
  • Sodium 630 mgs
  • Carbohydrates 17.6 grams
  • Fiber 4 grams

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