Comfort food at its finest for this Beef Barley Soup.
This is a bowlful of memories, a comforting hug on a chilly day, and a dance party for your tastebuds.
Our star players? Tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef and humble, yet hearty pearl barley. And the secret weapon to pull it all together? The mighty electric pressure cooker.
It doesn't matter if you have a stove-top pressure cooker or an electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi. You'll be able to make this Beef Barley Soup in no time.
By the way, you could think of it as a Beef Barley Stew or Beef and Pearl Barley Casserole. Whatever you prefer to call it in your household, I hope you like it.
Easy Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup Recipe
- 1 Pressure Cooker
- 1 teaspoon olive oil or oil of your choice (or butter)
- 200 g stewing beef diced (mine was from Aldi)
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 medium carrot (sliced lengthwise in 4 then sliced)
- ½ stalk celery (sliced lengthwise in 4 then chopped small)
- 75 g mushrooms sliced in wedges
- 140 g pearl barley rinsed thoroughly
- 560 ml water cold (you can weigh 560g of water, that will be 560ml)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable stock paste (or 1 stock cube)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning or Mixed Herbs
- Brown beef in olive oil (you can skip this step if you’re in a hurry and just add all ingredients to inner pot and go to step 4).200 g stewing beef, 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Deglaze well, this means adding a splash of liquid and scraping with a wooden spoon any caramelised / burnt-on bits
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients.1 large onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 medium carrot, ½ stalk celery, 75 g mushrooms, 140 g pearl barley, 560 ml water, 1 tablespoon vegetable stock paste, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Pressure cook 15 minutes, high pressure. Want to leave on warm a long time and like your pearl barley with a bit of bite? Pressure cook 10 minutes instead).
- After pressure cooking, wait 10-15 minutes before releasing the rest of the steam trapped inside.
- This dish won’t do great on Warm for very long, unless you like very soft pearl barley (but bear in mind it’ll go mushy). If you know you're going to need to leave it on keep warm and hate mushy pearl barley, reduce the pressure cooking time to 10 minutes maximum (but bear in mind the beef may not be as tender).
- Great reheated the next day (and it will thicken). If it thickens too much, add some stock the next day to loosen.
- Idea: you could stir frozen peas at the end, or fresh spinach
Why pressure cook Pearl Barley?
Pearl Barley can take between 25 and 40 minutes on the hob. Longer if, like me, you live in a hard water area.
If the thought of cooking Pearl Barley from scratch intimidates you, fear not because I've got a foolproof recipe that'll have you whipping up this comforting classic in no time.
Yes, pearl barley can take its sweet time to cook how you want it on the hob and those pre-cooked pouches in the shops are super handy, like the Merchant Gourmet ones.
BUT, hear me out, pressure cooked pearly barley takes very little time and it’s SO THRIFTY!
It’s inexpensive to buy and, actually, from what I’ve seen from friends using Zoe, it’s healthy and very Zoe-Friendly.
No more babysitting your pearl barley on the hob, watching that it doesn’t boil over, etc. Set it up in your electric pressure cooker and go live your life, or put your feet up, you choose!
Now, I like my pearl barley al dente, with a bit of bite, if you want it soft, pressure cook longer.
And you already know why pressure cook Beef, right?
The pressure cooker produces beef so tender that you won’t believe it’s doing it in a fraction of the time of the slow cooker.
Oh and my Mexican Beef...
Okay, just take a look at my Pressure Cooker Stews recipe index and that way you're covered.
Let me know if you try it