This is a tasty recipe for instant pot beef barley soup. If you are after hassle-free cooking, tender meat and flavorful dinner, this soup is it!
Making soups in a pressure cooker is easy. You don’t need to babysit the pot. When it’s done, it’s done and ready to be served (unless you want to add some more ingredients at the end that is). It does not boil over, does not burn and it can stay warm for hours.
The whole process of making beef and barley soup is not difficult and everyone can do it.
How to make beef barley soup in an instant pot
First, you will sauté onions. When translucent, I just push the onions to the side and add beef pieces in. These should be browned. I also like to add salt and pepper at this stage. When the meat is almost browned, garlic goes in – you stir everything around, so it releases its aroma.
When ready, you simply add the rest of the ingredients: carrots, celery, paprika, pearl barley and beef broth.
Stir everything well and close the lid.
Active pressure cooking will take 20 minutes. After, you wait about 10 minutes, then release the pressure manually.
To make this beef barley soup thicker, I combine paprika and flour in a saucepan and add pot. I simmer this for a while, stirring constantly.
Then, simply pour some of the soup into the saucepan and stir until liquid-y. When ready, pour it back to the soup, stir and let it cook for 1-2 minutes.
After that, your barley soup with beef is ready and you can serve it.
What to serve with instant pot beef barley soup?
A good homemade bread, dinner rolls, buttered toast or any kind of bread you like.
Grilled cheese, corn bread, salad of your choice are also great options. It will all depend on whether you want this soup as a main or as an entrée/starter.
Can I make beef barley soup in advance?
Yes, you can. In fact, the following day it will taste better.
There are 2 things to remember though:
- It will have a stronger taste, so if you add more salt on day 1, it will taste even saltier on day 2 so make sure not to over-season it!
- Barley will continue to soak up the liquid while sitting in the fridge so the soup will turn out thicker. You can add more liquid on day 2, if needed.
Tips for making the best beef barley soup in pressure cooker
I always use extra virgin olive oil for cooking, but you can use regular one or the one you usually use for sauteing.
To save time doing prep, you can use a frozen mirepoix mix – 3 cups in total. The mix will go in in step 1. If you want, take it out after it has been sauteed or just push it to the sides.
You can also use one or two bay leaves.
If you don’t have beef broth, use chicken or vegetable instead. Just note the flavor might be a bit milder.
To make this beef and barley soup more filling, you can add more potatoes and also increase the quantity of barley slightly (to 2/3 of a cup).
More instant pot soup recipes you might like:
Potato and Leek Soup – packed with nutrients, this is an easy meal.
Split Pea Soup – rich in flavor, this soup is definitely worth giving a go.
Creamy Tortellini Soup – everyone’s favorite!
Minestrone Soup – perfect winter soup that is not only tasty but also good for you for its packed with veggies.
Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup
For the soup:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion , minced (1 cup)
- 1 pound beef chunks (450 grams), see note 1
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 5 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 large carrots , diced (1 heaped cup)
- 2 large celery stalks , diced (1 heaped cup)
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ cup pearl barley
- 6 cups beef broth , see note 2
- Turn on the instant pot. Press “SAUTE” and pour oil in. Add minced onion and sauté until translucent, about 7 minutes. When the time is up, push the onions to the side and add diced beef in. Season it with salt and pepper and let it brown, stirring once or twice. When done, add the garlic in and stir until it releases its aroma.
- Then, add the rest of the ingredients and give everything a good mix.
- Cover with lid. Lock it into its position and turn the steam releasing valve to “SEALING”. Press “PRESSURE COOKING” (or “MANUAL”) and set the timer to 20 minutes.
- When the time is up, let the pressure drop naturally before safely removing the lid (or wait 10-15 minutes before you do it manually).
- In a small saucepan, combine paprika and flour. Pour in oil and stir over medium-high heat for about a minute. Pour in about a cup of the liquid from the soup and stir well until well combined. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly (You can add more liquid, if too thick).
- Pour this into the pot and stir. Cook on “SAUTE” for about 2 minutes before turning off the pot.
- Serve with bread, dinner rolls, toast, salad, or anything you like.
- You can increase the quantity of beef if you like a richer/more filling soup.
- Beef broth can be substituted with chicken stock or vegetable stock. If you use low sodium type, you will more likely need to add more seasoning at the end.
- The overall cooking time does not include the inactive time which is the time the pot needs to come to pressure (count with 10 minutes) and time needed for releasing pressure (about 10-15 minutes before you release it manually).
- Instant pot beef barley soup can be made easily made ahead. In fact, it tastes even better the following day. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- More tips, FAQ’s and serving suggestions can be found in the post above this recipe card.