Grandma Coffee's Beef Barley Vegetable Soup Recipe -

Grandma Coffee's Beef Barley Vegetable Soup

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"A wonderful family recipe, passed down by my mother (nicknamed Grandma Coffee by my daughters). This recipe gets a unique flavor from the rutabaga used in place of potatoes. The rutabaga gives it a wonderful flavor, and will not fall apart like potatoes tend to do in soup. I freeze half, and use half immediately. Enjoy with some crusty sourdough or French bread and a garden salad. "

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 24 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr 45 mins

    2 hrs 5 mins


  1. Place the beef, water, and bay leaf in a large soup pot over medium heat, and cook until the beef is very tender, about 1 hour. Stir in the tomatoes, carrots, celery, rutabaga, onion, and pearl barley, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Add the frozen white corn, green beans, and lima beans, season to taste, and simmer an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the frozen vegetables are tender. Add more water if the soup is too thick.
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  • Rutabagas and turnips are cousins, but aren't identical. Look for rutabagas in the produce aisle near turnips. They are yellow-fleshed with purplish shoulders (turnips tend to be white). They're a cold-weather crop, plentiful in fall and winter.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 28, 2011

All in all a good soup and I would have given it 5* except for the lack of beef flavor in the broth. I added 1/2 T of Better Than Bouillon Beef Base which helped a lot. I'm not sure why the other reviews said it was too thick ... it was the perfect amount of broth - not too thin or thick. I used the 1/2 cup of barley it called for and will use a bit more next time as it didn't have as much as I was hoping for. I did brown the meat in 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil before cooking. Cooking time was very close. I love the addition of rutabaga in place of potatoes. If you're counting Weight Watcher points, based on serving 12 it is 3 points and is a great way to get in some extra veggies.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 18, 2009

I have to give this three stars not because the beef barley is mediocre, but because the recipe is a bit off. The reality of the matter is the beef barley is awesome! I love barley and this recipe actually makes me say this might be a bit too much barley. When I make this next time, I will use one cup instead of a cup and a half. All the veggies are quite good - and as the recipe owner says, the rutabaga gives it a wonderful flavor and does not fall apart. We all loved the rutabaga - and four of the eight people that ate this were scared of it until they took their first bite. However, when all was said and done, there was absolutely no broth left. And I added two additional cups of water as the barley was not cooking. I should have added an additional six cups at least. The owner warns that this is a thick soup - but there is nothing soupy about this when it's done if you don't add a lot of extra water. Furthermore, the cooking times are WAY off! I knew the beef was not going to be tender with just an hour. I gave the meat about two hours and then added tomatoes, carrots, celery and onions to let the meat start getting some flavor. That all stewed for two hours as well. I then added the rutabaga and barley and that needed an hour and a half as well. In the last half an hour I added the frozen veggies and it all worked out well. Keep the pot covered, as well, because, of course, the steam wants to escape. I will make this again but with twice as much meat and water.

Feb 22, 2010

Added lots more beef, cooked in bottle of dark beer with some onion and garlic to start. Added garlic, a bit more barley and lots more water.

Oct 22, 2011

I loved this soup--and I don't agree with the previous reviews! As with most family recipes, this one leaves lots of leverage for personal taste. She said to add water to make as soupy or stew-like as you would like. She also said "season to taste" I had no problem adapting this recipe to my tastes and found the rutabega to be a fabulous addition!

Jun 02, 2010

I loved the soup but it was more like stew.The liquid all got absorbed too quick and I hate to water it down with broth or water-it loses taste

Jan 10, 2012

loved this since i was a kid..nice to see it on here, the only change is a pinch of ground clove is what is missing to bring all the flavors together! I agree with the extra water, especially the next day when it tastes the best.

Oct 26, 2011

I think your soup was delicious, however, I did have to add a lot more water...but the flavor.....yummy...Thanks for posting!

Apr 01, 2010

needs spices very bland....


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  • Calories
  • 107 kcal
  • 5%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 12.8 g
  • 4%
  • Cholesterol
  • 13 mg
  • 4%
  • Fat
  • 3.9 g
  • 6%
  • Fiber
  • 3.1 g
  • 12%
  • Protein
  • 5.7 g
  • 11%
  • Sodium
  • 107 mg
  • 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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