Hearty oxtail and barley soup

This oxtail and barley soup is rib-stickingly hearty and with the latest food trend being bone broth, it's a great reminder that soups like this old favourite have been around forever. It’s perfect for cold winter days!

By Nici Wickes
  • 3 hrs cooking
  • Serves 6
  • Print


  • 10 cup water
  • 1 oxtail
  • 1 cup barley, rinsed
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 4 silverbeet leaves, including stalks, chopped
  • handful of parsley stalks, chopped – use leaves to garnish
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • warm bread and butter, to serve


  • 1
    Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, then gently simmer with the lid on for 2 hours. Cool and skim off the fat, then bring to a simmer for a further hour or so.
  • 2
    Check for seasoning, then add more salt or pepper to taste.
  • 3
    Flake meat from the bone and serve on top of the soup along with the parsley leaves, discarding the bones. Serve with warm bread and butter.


  • Replace the liquid with vegetable water if you have any in the fridge or freezer. - Don't throw away stalks of cauliflower or broccoli as these can be added to soups and stews.

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