Barley Soup with Mushrooms and Beef
Beef, Soups

Barley Soup with Mushrooms and Beef (‘Graupeneintopf mit Pilzen und Siedfleisch’)

Jump to recipe

Last Updated on 4 years by Tim

Barley soup is a dish that separates people. There are the ones who love it and the ones who hate it. Nearly nothing in between. And I can understand that.

Barley is a very starchy grain that tends to make the soup a little slimy. I’m obsessed with this sliminess. I love porridge too. It was quite common to eat porridge regularly for a long time in Germany. However, that trend has faded and nowadays most people prefer the grains in their soup to be ‘al dente’.

Barley soup is kind of a rarity nowadays, even though it has always been there and I’m sure it will never die out completely. I’m using the traditional German name ‘Graupen’ to refer to barley. But don’t be surprised if you ever find this dish rebranded as ‘Gerstensuppe’. New name, same dish.

Beef broth is the basis for my barley soup

Beef broth

Barley cooked in water is a pretty bland affair. So, you will need to cook a simple beef broth for this dish. I think I don’t need to explain another time on my blog why I think that homemade broth is superior to store-bought. I’ve already published a detailed guide on how to make German beef broth.

Do yourself the favor and soak the barley in water the evening before. That way, the barley will be cooked in just under 30 minutes. You’ve already spent enough time cooking the beef broth so save yourself from simmering barley for an hour or more.

Sauteed mushrooms

As always when one of my recipes calls for mushrooms, they need to be sauteed before adding them to the broth. I think the high-temperature frying adds a lot of flavor complexity to the mushrooms.

Shortly before serving, season your broth with nutmeg, vinegar, and salt. A few drops of vinegar will do. But don’t leave it out. It brightens the flavor and takes the broth from average to outstanding.


  1. wilma pfifer

    My husband’s parents came from Hungery and mother cooked a goulask
    That didn’t have vegatables in it .Was just meat and sauce a served over noodles. Do you know this recipe.

    • That sounds like a very basic goulash. It consists of 1 part of onions + 1 part of meat. You need to sear the meat first, then add an equal amount (by volume) of chopped onions. Sweat the onions until they turn translucent, then add a bit of tomato paste, red wine, and beef broth. Leave the goulash to simmer until the meat is tender to your liking. Then you can season it to taste with salt. Goulash is a versatile dish so that you can add any spice you like. A lot of times, a large amount of sweet and spicy paprika powder is added. In Germany and Austria, caraway seeds are a very popular addition to goulash. Goulash can be made with beef or pork. A lot of times, a mixture of half pork/ half beef is used. I hope that helps! – Tim

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *