A hearty, savory homestyle Low Sodium Beef Barley Soup! Made with bite sized browned, tender chunks of beef roast, swimming with nutritious chewy barley, fresh vegetables and a taste of gratifying seasoned beef broth.
I can eat soup almost any time of year except maybe in high summer. I relish the smell of it simmering on the stove. To me, beef barley soup has such a different texture with the barley than most other soups, I just love it!
With a small salad and some ‘soppin’ up bread, it is the perfect easy, low sodium and nutritious meal.
Sodium Levels in Beef Barley Soup
The sodium level in the famous name brand canned beef barley soup is 790mg per 1 cup. Meanwhile, many recipes are 400+mg and some higher than even the canned soup at 800mg and above.
|Typical sodium amount per serving
|Sodium per serving for this recipe
|Calories per serving
My Low Sodium Beef Barley Soup ranks at 56mg per (1) cup. Or, a total of 112mg of sodium for two cups which is probably more likely what a normal person eats.
Best Type of Beef for Beef Barley Soup?
With the cost of beef these days, this is an excellent meal to put together with one of the cheapest cuts of beef you can buy. I usually use stew beef which is already cubed but needs to be cut down a little more. Or, you can use a chuck roast that is sliced into half-inch size bites.
Either one would be tough and chewy if cooked in a skillet or on the grill, but after an hour or more stewing, it comes out perfectly tender and juicy.
You will need 1½ to 2 pounds of beef for this soup, and you have a couple of relatively inexpensive best options when purchasing it.
- Beef stew meat – Can come from a variety of different beef cuts, such as chuck, round or sirloin cuts. Meat is pre-cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes.
Beef stew meat is what I prefer to use for my stews and soups.
- Beef chuck roast – A larger full cut of beef, chuck roast is any cut of meat that comes from the chuck, or the shoulder part of a steer.
Whichever you choose, you will need to cut the beef further into 1/2-inch cubes. (Usually, your finger joint is a good size guide.)
Making Low Sodium Beef Barley Soup on the Stove
Chop all beef and vegetables. Measure and prepare the remaining ingredients. Lightly flour and pepper cubed beef in a large bowl.
Pre-heat a large pot (I use a ceramic cast iron Dutch oven) over medium-high heat and then add 1 Tablespoon olive oil. When hot, add beef to the pot in batches, do not overcrowd, and leave space in between cubes. This will allow it to sear and not steam cook. Sear until golden brown on the bottom – about 3 minutes – then stir and cook another minute longer.
Remove seared beef to a plate and repeat by adding another tablespoon of oil and the remaining beef to the pot.
Saute your veggies by adding 1 Tablespoon oil to the pot and add onions. Saute onions till soft then add carrots, celery and garlic and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add broth to the pot and deglaze the bottom scraping up any little bits. (Tons of flavor.) Except for the barley, add all remaining ingredients. Return beef and any juices to the pot.
Bring mixture to just boiling, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, about 50 – 60 minutes beef should be fairly tender. Stir occasionally. You may simmer longer if you like.
Add barley, stir and continue to simmer until cooked through and beef is tender, about another 50 – 60 minutes longer. Stir occasionally.
Make Beef Barley Soup in the Slow Cooker
Follow the previous steps up to adding the final ingredients except for barley.
Cook on low for 7 – 8 hours, then stir in barley 2-3 hours before total cook time (7-8 hrs) is over.
What Sides to Serve with It?
My sliced Low Sodium Artisan Bread is awesome with this!
Freezing Beef Barley Soup
Yes, this soup can be frozen and stored for up to 3 months.
This beef barley soup is also perfect for freezing in single-size servings. I always use my jumbo muffin pan and it makes the perfect 1 cup serving size. Simply fill the jumbo muffin pan with the soup and freeze.
When frozen, pop out the frozen serving from the muffin pan and put it in a zip-loc freezer bag. It’s easy to store without using up extra containers. It is then easily convenient to microwave or reheat on the stove!
My Tips for the Best Beef Barley Soup
This low sodium beef barley soup is perfect for cuts of beef that are usually less tender and cheaper in price. By letting the soup simmer low and slow, the beef will become extra tender and flavorful.
By browning the beef first, it builds the foundation for a rich savory, beefy level of flavor that will overpower any salt cravings.
For a slightly chewy barley texture, add the barley a little later through the simmering time.
Cut the veggies a little extra thick as they’ll be simmering a long time.
Ideas for Possible for Additions
You can add other vegetables like mushrooms, no salt added canned – green beans, corn, or peas. Stir in about halfway to the end of the cooking time so they don’t get mushy.
When adding more veggies, you may need to add a little more broth as well.
You can always add your other favorite no salt herbs and spices for even more flavor. Try seasoning with no salt Italian seasoning or smoked paprika for instance.
Recommended Equipment & Ingredients For This Recipe.
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Please let me know how this Low Sodium Beef Barley Soup turns out for you in the comments and a rating! I’m always eager for your feedback and hope my recipes turn out amazing for you. You can follow me on Facebook and Pinterest also, to hear about new recipes.
Low Sodium Beef Barley Soup
- 1 ½ – 2 lbs stew beef or chuck roast – cut into 1/2” cubes
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 1 onion diced
- 1 tablespoon pre-minced garlic
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced 1/4“ rounds
- 1 stalk celery sliced 1/4″
- 6 cups beef broth no sodium added about 1 ½ boxes
- 1 can 15 oz petite diced tomatoes no salt added, undrained
- 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Original Table Blend no salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon Herbox Beef Bouillon no sodium
- 2 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Perrins low sodium sauce
- ¼ teaspoon dried ground thyme
- 2 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar optional
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon ground Savory
- 1 cup pearl barley
- Ground pepper to taste
- Prepare and cut vegetables and meat per above, beforehand. Recipe will come together quickly.
- Lightly flour and black pepper the 1/2″ cubed pieces of beef in a medium bowl.
- Pre-heat Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat and then add 1 Tablespoon olive oil. When hot, add beef to pot in batches, do not overcrowd, leave space in between cubes. (This will allow it to sear and not steam cook.) Sear until golden brown on bottom – about 3 minutes – then stir and cook another minute longer.
- Remove seared beef to a holding plate and repeat by adding another tablespoon of oil and the remaining beef to pot.
- Sauté the vegetables by adding 1 Tablespoon olive oil to the pot and add onions. Sauté onions till sof,,t then add carrots, celery and garlic and sauté an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add no salt added beef broth to pot and deglaze the bottom, scraping up any little bits. (Tons of flavor.)
- Except for the barley, add all remaining ingredients. Add browned beef and any juices to the pot.
- Bring mixture to just boiling, then reduce heat to low to cover and simmer. After about 50 – 60 minutes, beef should be fairly tender. You may simmer longer if you like.
- Add barley, stir and continue to simmer. Stir occasionally until barley is cooked through and beef is tender, about another 50 – 60 minutes longer.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf. Ladle the soup into your favorite bowls to serve.
Nutrition Information – The information shown is provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be substituted for a doctors or nutritionist’s advice. Please understand that not everyone’s sodium requirements are the same, therefore some recipes may be higher than you’re allowed. Always consult with your doctor for your recommended daily sodium allowance.