Soupe au barley

Growing up my mom made many meals for us, one of our favorites was passed down from my grandmother, Mami Louisette. Just the smell makes me feel good. Although I’ve seen my mom make it hundreds of times I’ve always stuck to instinct which means not every batch ends up the same. I figure it’s time to start measuring it out. Here’s one more of our attempts to recapture the deliciousness!


  • 2 beef shanks
  • 5-6 carrots diced
  • 5-6 celery sticks diced
  • 1 yellow or white onion diced
  • 1 large shallot, or 2 small
  • 4-5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup of barley (my barley takes 1 1/4 to cook)
  • 4 cups of chicken stock (2 bouillon cubes)
  • 4 cups of beef stock (2 bouillon cubes)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Pat beef shanks dry and salt and pepper both sides. If your shanks have a thick membrane on the outside, make small slits, this will prevent it from curling when browning.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium high, once oil is shimmering add the two beef shanks and brown the meat 3 minutes on both sides. Once the beef is nicely browned remove them from the pot.
  3. Lower heat to medium, if your pot is dry add a bit of olive oil, add onions and shallots, cook until softened and starting to color, 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots and celery, cook until vegetables are slightly softened and are picking up color.
  5. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant about 1 minute.
  6. Add thyme and bay leaf, cook about 30 seconds.101_0122
  7. Add the beef shanks and any juice that accumulated.101_0128
  8. Add the cup of barley.
  9. Add the 8 cups of liquid. Let the soup simmer low to medium low for 1 1/4 hours. 101_0129
  10. After the barley has cooked, salt and pepper to taste. Remove the beef shanks and cut up the meat into small dice. Add the meat back into the soup.
  11. To serve you can add a splash of milk to your bowl or eat with some buttered bread. Enjoy!Beef Barley.jpg



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