bowl of soup with a wooden spoon
Jennifer Danella

Scrumptious Deer and Barley Soup: A Warm Hug on a Cold Day

Try a new winter favorite: hearty barley, scrumptious deer, and healthy veggies.

When temperatures plummet and snow starts to fall, fun salads and barbecuing quickly take a backseat to winter's favorite dishes: stews, casseroles, chilis, and soups. In particular, nothing warms you up on a cold day quite like a hearty bowl of soup. Plus, it is a great way to use your stock of game meat from fall's hunting season.

Our deer and barley soup checks off all the boxes. It's filling, hearty, and warming. The chunky venison roast cubes are complemented by tasty veggies and hearty bone broth, giving you an enjoyable hot meal to brighten your winter day. Here's how to make it.

Deer and Barley Soup


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  • 1.5-2 pounds venison roast, cubed into ¾-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 whole carrots, sliced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 6 cups bone broth or reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Recipe directions

  1. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Pat the venison cubes dry using paper towels then add into the preheated pot, avoiding overcrowding. (You may need to do this in batches.) Season with salt and pepper to taste and sear until golden brown on the bottom, about 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook for 1 minute.

  2. Remove the seared venison cubes from the pot to a plate along with the juices.

  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the empty pot. Add in the onions, carrots and celery, and sauté for 3 minutes.

  4. Add in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes longer, stirring often.

  5. Pour in the beef broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme.

  6. Add the venison and juices back into the pot and bring to a simmer. Once it is simmering, reduce the heat to low and cover. Let it gently simmer for 40 minutes.

  7. Taste the soup and add any salt and pepper to taste. Then add in barley, cover again, and simmer until the venison is tender and cooked through, about 40-50 minutes.

  8. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.

READ MORE: Try This Easy and Comforting Venison Ramen Recipe