A top-rated beef barley soup recipe on SparkRecipes is Mom's Famous Beef Barley Soup. It can be made in a pot on the stove or in a Dutch oven or slow cooker.
For this recipe, 1/2 cup carrots, 1/2 cup onions and 1/2 cup celery are sautéed until tender (about five minutes) using one tablespoon of butter in the bottom of the pot or Dutch oven. To this, 4 cups of beef broth are added along with 4 cups of water, a can of diced tomatoes, 3/4 cup of fast-cook or regular barley, 1 pound of beef, salt and pepper to taste and 1/2 teaspoon each of basil and oregano. The beef can be any cut or style the cook prefers.
These ingredients are brought to a boil, then the heat is reduced and the soup is covered and allowed to simmer until the barley is tender. This takes about an hour if regular barley is used, and about 20 minutes for the quick-cooking style. This recipe received mostly positive reviews, and most people stated that they would make it again. One reviewer added vegetables like corn and green beans, while another suggested doubling the batch when cooking for a crowd.