Aunt Rose's Beef Barley Soup: A Hearty, Flavorful Winter Dish
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Notes on sourcing the ingredients:
My Aunt Rose recommended buying the flanken meat at Gelson's Market. I bought it from Dey Dey's Best Beef Ever at the farmers market.
Also, I used Bob's Red Mill's Vegi Soup Mix, and Springfield makes a similar one. Rose made hers with a Manischewitz Split Pea and Barley Cello Soup Mix.
Sometimes parsley root is hard to find, but it's worth tracking down for the extra flavor boost it gives this soup. I have found it at Gelson's Market, and sometimes at Whole Foods or the farmers market.
  • 2 pounds beef flanken short ribs, generously sprinkled with salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 1 stalk celery, diced small
  • 2 large carrots, diced small
  • 2 parsley roots, diced small (if you can find it)
  • 1 box sliced mushrooms, optional
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup red wine
  • 1 14-ounce box or can of strained tomatoes
  • 1 cup of Bob's Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix (which includes barley and split peas)
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Handful of chopped Italian parsley for garnish
  1. Place a large soup pot on the stove, and turn the flame to medium. Generously sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper on both sides. A couple minutes later, add to the pot 1 teaspoon of oil and the meat in a single layer. Brown the meat well on both sides, then set aside.
  2. In the meanwhile, chop the vegetables. After the meat is set aside, sauté the onion, celery, carrot, parsley root (optional), and mushrooms (optional) in the same oil until soft. Add another 1-2 teaspoons of oil if necessary to moisten the vegetables while sautéing. Sprinkle 2 pinches of salt and several grinds of freshly cracked pepper over the vegetables. When the vegetables are almost ready, add the garlic and sauté for a couple minutes more.
  3. Then add the wine, and scrap the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Cook until the wine has mostly evaporated. Now add the browned meat, tomatoes, soup mix, water, bay leaf, and another 2 pinches of salt and a couple grinds of freshly cracked pepper. Stir together. Bring the ingredients to a boil, and then cover and lower the flame to a simmer. Cook for 1-1/2 hours or until the meat easily falls apart from the bone.
  4. Remove the meat to a plate. Separate the meat from the bones and connective tissue with two forks or your fingers. Then shred the meat. Add the meat back to the pot. Discard the bay leaf, bones, and connective tissue. Taste the soup to see if it needs any more salt or pepper. Simmer for a few minutes more or up to another half hour until the meat is very tender.
  5. Serve warm. Garnish with a little chopped fresh parsley, optional. Refrigerate leftovers for a few days or freeze for later.
Recipe by Foodie Goes Healthy Recipe Blog at