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Every country it seems has some kind of beef stew as a part of their traditional cuisine, so just like with Buttermilk Pancakes, Beef and Barley Soup is one of those recipes that I can’t find reliable origin information on. The Irish cook books I’ve looked through all claim that Beef and Barley Soup is a traditional Irish Farmhouse Soup, but since it’s so popular in many other countries it’s true origin is anyone’s guess. Though Barley is a pretty ancient crop, and people have been making this soup a long, long time, so it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find out it is Irish, or at least originating in the UK.

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I tried to keep this recipe as traditional as possible, and did a fare job of that. The only out of place ingredients are Tamari and Marmite, which I used to enhance the beefy flavor of the soup. Due to the tough cuts of meat this soup is suppose to be cooked with original meat based recipes have a very long cooking time. This vegan version could probably be cooked in less time, but I like the hour long simmer as it provides ample opportunity for the flavors of the soup to marry. However because of the long time, the potatoes do begin to break down, and so this soup ended up thicker and more stew like then a ‘traditional’ beef and barley soup. If that isn’t to your fancy then feel free to add a bit more broth or water to thin the soup out, or decrease the cooking time by 15-20 minutes, to the point where the potatoes are soft but not breaking down.

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Irish Beef and Barley Soup 

1 lb Homemade or Store-bought Beef Style Seitan cubed
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 Large Onion Sliced into quarter moons
4 Garlic Cloves Minced
3 Large Carrots Sliced into Rounds
2 Russet Potatoes Cubed
3 Celery Stalks Chopped
1 Large Leek Sliced (White and Light Green Part Only)
8 Cups Vegan Beef Broth or 8 Cups Water + 2 Vegan Beef Bouillon Cubes
1/4 C Pearled Barley
1/4 C Split Green Peas (pre soaked)
1 tsp Thyme Leaves
½ tsp Dried Rosemary
½ tsp Black Pepper (or more to taste)
3 Tbsp Tamari
1 Heaping Tbsp Marmite
½ Bunch Minced Parsley
Sea Salt to taste if needed

– Pour Vegan Beef Stock into a pot and bring to a boil. Once Boiling add Green Split Peas and Barley. Reduce to simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes or until barley and peas are tender.

– Heat 1 tsp Oil in skillet over medium heat. When hot add cubed beef and cook for 8-10 minutes stirring to brown on all sides. When browned to your liking remove from skillet and set aside on a plate.

– Heat remaining tsp of Oil in the same pan, add the onions and saute over medium heat for 8 minutes until soft and golden. Add in the carrots, celery, garlic and leek. Saute another 10 minutes until vegetables are soft.

– Add the sauteed vegetables to the pot with the Barley and Split Peas. Add the cubed potatoes, thyme,.rosemary, black pepper, tamari, and marmite. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce to simmer and let simmer gently on the stove for 45 minutes to an hour. Until all vegetables are tender and the soup has thickened.

– Add in the Browned Beef, and Minced Parsley. Stir to combine and simmer an additional 5 minutes until beef is warmed through. Taste for flavor and add more salt or pepper if needed.

– Serve hot and enjoy!

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