Clear oxtail soup with pearl barley

September 6, 2011 (Last Updated: January 11, 2019)
Clear oxtail soup with pearl barley

This clear oxtail soup with pearl barley proves that there are many ways to enjoy this lovely cit of meat. An oxtail soup is definitely the perfect winter warmer meal, and the pearl barley makes it a wonderful and filling dish for the whole family. 

Clear oxtail soup with pearl barley

Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 2 hours 30 mins plus extra for cooling


  • 1kg oxtail, rinsed
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 1 litre good-quality beef stock
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g mixed soup vegetables (carrot, turnip, cabbage, celery), grated or finely diced
  • 125ml (½ cup) pearl barley, well rinsed



Place the oxtail, onion, garlic and chilli in a deep soup pot. Cover with the stock and water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer covered for 1 hour 30 minutes, frequently skimming off any foam that rises to the surface in order to keep the stock clear.


Remove from the heat and use a slotted spoon to remove the oxtail from the liquid. Shred the meat from the bones and discard the bones and any fat. Set the meat aside. Strain the liquid and set aside to cool for at least an hour so that the fat rises to the surface. Skim off the fat and discard.


Return the liquid to a clean soup pot with the ginger, garlic, vegetables and barley and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft and the barley is cooked, about 20 – 30 minutes. Add the shredded meat and cook until heated through, about a further 5 – 10 minutes.


Serve in heated bowls with crusty bread for mopping up.



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