Comforting Beef Barley Soup (Instant Pot)
- 1 1/2 pounds stew meat
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 10 baby bella mushrooms, quartered
- 3 cups mirepoix (just a combination of chopped onion, celery, and carrots)
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups low sodium beef broth (or vegetable)
- 1 cup water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large potato, shredded (using a food processor or grater)
- 2/3 cup pearl barley, rinsed
1.Season the stew meat with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot or in the instant pot over medium high heat. Add ½ the stew meat and brown on all sides for about 2-3 minutes total. Remove meat to a plate and repeat with the second batch and the second tablespoon of oil.
2.Add the mushroom to the pot and brown the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes or until they start picking up the brown bits left behind by the meat. Remove the mushrooms to the same plate as the stew meat.
3.If needed, add a little more oil to the pot and the mirepoix mix. Cook the veggies for 4-5 minutes or until the onions soften and become translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
4.IF USING A SLOW COOKER: Add the softened veggies, stew meat, mushrooms, bay leaves, dried thyme, water, and beef broth to the slow cooker and allow the soup to cook on the high setting for 3 hours or on the low setting for 6 hours.
5.IF USING THE INSTANT POT: Add the stew meat, mushrooms, bay leaves, dried thyme, water, and beef broth the to sautéed veggies in the instant pot, cover and pressure cook the meat for 13-16 minutes depending on the size of the stew meat. Allow the pressure to release before removing the lid.
6.FOR BOTH METHODS: Add the shredded potatoes and the barley and allow the soup to cook on the high setting (for the instant pot you hit the slow cook button) for 1 hour or until the potatoes and barley cook through. Season with additional seasonings to taste. Serve warm with chopped parsley on top and a loaf of crusty bread or crackers.
1.Sometimes I like to spice things up by adding a little pinch of red pepper flakes along with the dried thyme too but this is purely optional.