Beef, Guinness and barley soup

Many lactation consultants recommend dark beer to aid milk production. Dark beers, such as stouts and porters, also happen to make deliciously hearty, comforting soup that keeps – and freezes – well. It’s always a good idea to have a healthy meal on hand for those nights on when you don’t have time (or the interest) to cook.


canola or olive oil, for cooking
½ lb (250 g) stewing beef, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bottle dark beer, such as a stout
4 cups (1 L) beef or vegetable stock
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, with leaves, chopped
1/3 cup (85 mL) pearl or pot barley


1. In a large saucepan or small soup pot, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and brown the meat in batches, browning them on all sides and then removing them from the pot with a slotted spoon. If you like, add another drizzle of oil and sauté the onion for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Return the meat to the pan, add the beer, cover and cook over low heat for about an hour.

2. Add the stock, carrots, celery and barley and simmer for another 45 minutes, until the barley is tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately, or cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Serves 6

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