Healthy Eating

Turmeric-Infused Beef and Barley Soup

Turmeric-Infused Beef and Barley Soup in a white bowl


An anti-inflammatory diet favours foods that are rich in nutrients, antioxidants and healthy fats. Barley is a whole grain filled with soluble fibre and several antioxidants such as vitamin E and beta-carotene. Research shows that barley helps to regulate blood pressure, boost immunity and provide anti-inflammatory effects.

Can beef also be part of an anti-inflammatory diet? Beef is a great source of high-quality protein, vitamin B12, iron, selenium, and zinc, but it also contains saturated fats which can trigger inflammation and pose other health problems. Each person is different; however, moderation is key: think smaller servings, leaner cuts, served less frequently. Find what works for you, but if you follow these guidelines, having beef once in a while should be acceptable in an anti-inflammatory diet.

Nutritional information (per serving*):

Calories: 252; Protein (20g); Total Fat (11g); Saturated Fat (2g); Monounsaturated Fat (5g); Carbohydrates (21g); Fibre (5g); Sodium (267mg).

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 75 minutes
*Servings: 4


  • ½ lb stewing beef, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 medium tomatoes or ½ can diced tomatoes
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • ½ tablespoon turmeric
  • ½ cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 6 cups low-sodium beef or vegetable broth
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Cilantro for garnish


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic and celery and cook until transparent.
  2. Add the beef and brown evenly.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add 1 cup of broth and scrape the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining broth, barley, tomatoes, ginger, turmeric, salt, pepper, and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring the soup occasionally, until the barley is fully cooked and the meat is tender, about 60 to 90 minutes (longer cooking time makes for more tender meat).
  5. Serve in deep bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Extra tips:

  • Soaking the barley overnight will reduce cooking time the next day.
  • You can also use a slow cooker: after heating the onions, garlic, celery, and browning the beef, transfer to a slow cooker and add seasonings, barley and broth. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Leftover roast beef or ground meat can be used instead of raw meat. This soup is a great way to use leftover veggies and beef. Add carrots for added flavour and thickness.