Grandma Coffee's Beef Barley Vegetable Soup

jmbwarner 0

"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. "

Ingredients 2 h 5 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 107 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 24 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 107 kcal
  • 5%
  • Fat:
  • 3.9 g
  • 6%
  • Carbs:
  • 12.8g
  • 4%
  • Protein:
  • 5.7 g
  • 11%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 13 mg
  • 4%
  • Sodium:
  • 107 mg
  • 4%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  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.
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Reviews 9

  1. 9 Ratings


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.


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.


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.