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Instant Pot RecipesRECIPE

Hearty Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup

time: 25 minutes Cook
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In the chilly months of winter, there’s nothing quite as comforting as a warm bowl of hearty soup. Today, we’re diving into the culinary world of beef and barley soup, a timeless classic known for its rich flavors and nourishing qualities. But we’re adding a modern twist to this traditional favorite by preparing it in the Instant Pot, which will have you savoring its goodness in a fraction of the time. This recipe is a perfect blend of convenience and home-cooked taste, and it’s sure to become a family favorite.

Historical Context

Beef and barley soup has a history that dates back centuries, making it a beloved dish in various cultures around the world. Barley, one of the oldest cultivated grains, was a dietary staple for many ancient civilizations. In medieval Europe, barley soups were common among peasants and royalty alike. The addition of beef to this soup likely emerged during the Middle Ages when meat became more accessible.

With the advent of pressure cookers and, more recently, the Instant Pot, the cooking process has become quicker and more efficient. Today, we’ll harness the power of modern kitchen technology to create a delicious meal reminiscent of the past.


  1. Prepare the Ingredients: Start by chopping the onion, carrots, and celery. Mince the garlic, and cut the stewing beef into bite-sized pieces. Measure out the pearl barley and the required herbs and spices.
  2. Sauté the Aromatics: Set your Instant Pot to the sauté function and add the olive oil. Once it’s hot, add the chopped onions and garlic. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes until the onions turn translucent and fragrant.
  3. Brown the Beef: Add the beef pieces to the Instant Pot and season with salt and pepper. Sear the beef on all sides for about 5 minutes, creating a flavorful base for your soup.
  4. Add the Vegetables: Toss in the chopped carrots and celery. Stir everything together for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  5. Add the Barley and Herbs: Now, add the pearl barley, bay leaves, dried thyme, and dried rosemary. Give it a good stir to combine all the ingredients evenly.
  6. Pour in the Broth: Pour in the beef broth, ensuring it covers all the ingredients. The rich beefy aroma will begin to fill your kitchen.
  7. Pressure Cook: Secure the lid on your Instant Pot and set it to pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Make sure the pressure release valve is in the sealed position.
  8. Natural Release: Once the cooking time is up, allow for a natural release for about 10 minutes. This will help the flavors meld even further and prevent any sudden pressure release.
  9. Serve: Carefully open the Instant Pot, remove the bay leaves, and give the soup a final stir. Ladle the piping hot beef and barley soup into serving bowls.
  10. Enjoy: Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired, and serve your Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup with crusty bread or a side salad. It’s a filling and nutritious meal that’s perfect for a cozy evening in.


In just under an hour, you’ve created a steaming pot of Hearty Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup that’s brimming with rich flavors and wholesome ingredients. This dish encapsulates the essence of comfort food while showcasing the convenience of modern kitchen technology. Whether you’re looking for a satisfying meal on a cold day or simply want to savor the timeless flavors of beef and barley, this recipe is a winner. So, gather your loved ones around the table and enjoy the heartwarming taste of tradition with a modern twist.


prep time
ion time: 15 minutes
cooking time
time: 25 minutes
total time
me: 40 minutes


  • Instant Pot

  • Wooden spoon

  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • Knife and cutting board

  • Serving bowls


  • 1 pound (450g) stewing beef, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 cup pearl barley

  • 4 cups beef broth

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced

  • 2 celery stalks, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Prepare ingredients.
Sauté aromatics and beef.
Add vegetables, barley, and herbs.
Pressure cook, then serve.
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