Venison Barley Soup

Venison Barley SoupVenison barley soup is a great warming meal for the wintertime and it is also a good tasting dish to be eaten the rest of the year too. This is a ‘stick-to-your-ribs’ kind of soup as well, so it is great for tackling hearty appetites and making sure that nobody leaves the table hungry. Leftovers aren’t a problem, either, since the venison barley soup is great heated up as a side dish for other meals.

The flavor in this recipe is augmented with beef, however other ground meat can be used if it has enough fat to produce a broth. Venison normally is too lean to produce a lot of broth. From a health standpoint, if you are concerned with your fat intake, omit the beef in this recipe.

Ingredients for Venison Barley Soup:

  • 2 pounds *venison stew meat in 1/2 to 1 inch cubes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cups dried pearl barley
  • 2 bell peppers, coarsely diced
  • 2 large onions, coarsely diced (white onions preferred)
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • ~ three quarts water

Instructions for Venison Barley Soup:

1. Brown the venison, ground beef, onions, garlic, peppers and celery in a frying pan, over low heat.

2. Pour the water in a deep stock pot and pour in the venison mixture, including the juices. Add the spices and barley, but not the mushrooms.

3. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat and cover, stirring occasionally. Cook for about an hour, then add the mushrooms and cook for an additional fifteen minutes.

*Note that this recipe also works with elk stew meat.


This barley soup is a good soup for adding leftover vegetables to, when the mushrooms are added. Also, for a Mexican or Spanish flair, add a teaspoon of ground cumin.

Venison barley soup is excellent when served with homemade bread, cornbread, spoon bread or dinner rolls. The soup is complimented by green or fruit salads, too. The soup tends to be quite filling, however, so it is a good idea to limit the side dishes, unless the barley soup is the side dish.

This is great for freezing, so you can even make extra. Imagine wowing your friends in deer camp with a steaming bowl of venison barley soup, easily heated up from some that you’d frozen the last time you made this terrific soup.

This barley soup is delicious, filling and the venison adds a flavor boost that makes it a great meal. It is healthy and though it takes some time to make, the recipe is simple. Once you’ve tasted it, you are likely to use this as one of your favorite soup recipes, ranking right up there with Hearty Venison Stew.

Image by Gloria Cabada-Leman

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