Instant Pot Beef Barley and Mushroom Soup

Enjoy this hearty, comforting soup in the wintertime! Full of delicious tender beef, pearl barley, fresh vegetables, and savoury mushrooms.


2 tbsp olive oil
1½-2 lb. stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
10 cremini mushrooms (8 oz), sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or worcestershire sauce)
12 oz red or white baby potatoes, chopped
2 carrots (8 oz), chopped
2 celery ribs (4½ oz), chopped
⅔ cup dry pearl barley, rinsed
½ tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp dried thyme
4 cups beef broth (low sodium)
2 cups water
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: fresh basil as topping


  1. Season the stewing beef with salt and pepper. Using the “saute” function on the Instant Pot, add one tablespoon of olive oil and brown beef on all sides (you may need to do this in batches). Remove the beef and set aside.
  2. Pour another tablespoon of olive oil into the Instant Pot and add the onion, stirring until soft and starts to brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in the garlic and mushrooms and saute for 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and brown and most of the liquid from the mushrooms evaporate.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of beef broth to deglaze the pot, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to remove/dissolve the brown bits. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and stir to mix in.
  5. Add back in the beef along with the rest of the ingredients (potatoes, carrots, celery, barley, herbs, remaining broth, and water). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Give the ingredients a good stir to distribute throughout the vessel *(see first note). Press “cancel” to turn off the Instant Pot.
  6. Seal the Instant Pot and cook at high pressure (“manual”/”pressure cook” function) for 25 minutes. After the stew is ready, allow natural pressure release for at least 15 minutes before quick pressure release to completely depressurize (until floating valve drops).
  7. Open the Instant Pot and give the soup another stir. Taste for additional salt and pepper and top with fresh basil if you like. Best served hot.

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