September 13, 2021

Classic Vegetable Beef Soup

A tried-and-true recipe with tender chunks of beef in a thick, savory stock and all your favorite vegetables.

There’s nothing like a recipe to get people riled up. If you ever want to start a fight on Facebook just post a recipe, say you think it's THE BEST, then sit back and watch. Lawzamercy.

Side note: people are VERY passionate about how to make goulash. Seriously, who knew?

I’m pointing this out to say – right here at the TIP TOP – there is not a definitive only and best way to make vegetable beef soup. The recipe I’m going to share with you is how I make mine.

I’ve learned a few things about making homemade soups over the years that I’ve included in this recipe because I think they take soup from good to great and I hope you’ll consider trying them before you say I'm wrong and your way is better because seriously, Cheryl you haven’t even tried it my way so how do you even know?

Classic Vegetable Beef Soup - A tried-and-true recipe with tender chunks of beef in a thick, savory stock and all your favorite vegetables.

These are the vegetables that my family likes best. Me personally? I want some cabbage and maybe some okra in mine but my Canadian husband draws the line at okra. I also like barley. I don’t remember Mama putting potatoes in it when I was growing up (I’ll have to ask to confirm) but that might just be because we rarely had potatoes on-hand since Daddy was such a huge rice eater.

Since I cannot STAND them, I don’t add English peas. Those little green globs can all go rot in a swamp for all I care. Husband feels the same way soooo… my soup ain’t got no peas! If you love them, toss some in! p.s… I always feel the need to specify that I don’t like English peas because I love all the other peas!

I really love Hamburger Vegetable Beef Soup made with ground beef as well. I like the texture and there’s probably some grade school nostalgia going on there too. I literally cannot think of that soup without thinking about peanut butter and honey sandwiches! I loved soup day!

Classic Vegetable Beef Soup - A tried-and-true recipe with tender chunks of beef in a thick, savory stock and all your favorite vegetables.

I may like those sammiches with the ground beef version but when it comes to this recipe for traditional Vegetable Beef Soup, I absolutely MUST have cornbread.

A LOT OF CORNBREAD. And here’s my absolute favorite recipe for it: Better-Than-Homemade Cornbread. I like to put a hunk of cornbread in my soup, let it soak up all the savory stock then eat it with a spoon.

I’ve mentioned this before about cornbread but I like a slightly sweet cornbread with Vegetable Beef Soup. Why? I dunno. Same reason I like shortbread cookies when I eat fancy cheese?? The heart wants what the heart wants.

Classic Vegetable Beef Soup - A tried-and-true recipe with tender chunks of beef in a thick, savory stock and all your favorite vegetables.

Here are some tips, notes and a few things about my recipe that might be a little different (and why I think they work):

  • Add or omit vegetables per your preference. My recipe includes what I like but you can make it with whatever you like best!
  • If you prefer frozen vegetables, feel free to use them but you will need to add additional beef broth or water (1-2 cups). Most frozen vegetables are completely fine in soup but I do prefer canned green beans over frozen.
  • I like to add a little flour (sort of a little roux) which thickens the soup just a tad. It doesn’t make it stew-like, but it does give it a teeniny bit of thickness that I enjoy. If you are going to add okra, you can omit this step because okra is a natural thickener. Using the flour is entirely optional.
  • THE most important thing to know about making this soup is that you do not - repeat: DO NOT - let it come to a full, rolling boil. Bring the soup to temperature over low heat and keep it there.
  • Adding the salt later in the recipe (with the potatoes) prevents the beans and corn from getting tough. It also helps make sure the potatoes get plenty of seasoning since the other ingredients won’t soak up much because they’re already done.
Classic Vegetable Beef Soup - A tried-and-true recipe with tender chunks of beef in a thick, savory stock and all your favorite vegetables.
  • The sugar is used to balance the acidic taste from the canned tomatoes – it will not make the soup taste sweet. We add it at after the potatoes have cooked to prevent them from soaking up the sugar.
  • I buy a 4-cup carton of beef broth then keep the extra cup on-hand to add if needed. The age and variety of your potatoes will impact how much broth they absorb. If I let the soup rest until the next day, it thickens a good bit and sometimes I add a little more broth when I’m heating it up.
  • A lot of vegetable beef soup recipes have tomato juice but I’ve always found them to be more like minestrone (or tomato soup even) than what I want in a VBS. I want to taste the beef and all of the other vegetables and too much tomato can be overpowering.
  • If you can plan ahead, this soup is even better the next day. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to serve. Reheat on the stove (try not to let it get toooo hot when reheating – just to the temp you want to eat it at).
Classic Vegetable Beef Soup - A tried-and-true recipe with tender chunks of beef in a thick, savory stock and all your favorite vegetables.
vegetable beef, soup, traditional, classic, homestyle, homemade, chuck, steak, stew meat, canned, bullion, best, how to, tender, campbells, thick, chunky, gravy
main dish, soup, supper
Yield: 10 Servings
Author: Mandy Rivers | South Your Mouth
Classic Vegetable Beef Soup

Classic Vegetable Beef Soup

A tried-and-true recipe with tender chunks of beef in a thick, savory stock and all your favorite vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. beef chuck or stew meat
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup flour (optional – see notes)
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 4 beef bullion cubes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 14-oz cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 14-oz can baby lima beans
  • 1 14-oz can corn
  • 1 14-oz can cut green beans
  • 3 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional – see notes)

Instructions

  1. Cut beef into small cubes then season well with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a soup pot or dutch oven then heat on high (just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot). Sear beef in 2-3 batches (do not overcrowd the pan) over high heat until nicely browned. Remove beef to a bowl then set aside.
  3. Add 4 tablespoons olive oil, carrots, celery and onion to the pot then cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Mix in flour (if using) then continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Add broth, bullion cubes, garlic, Italian seasoning, thyme, pepper, all canned vegetables (undrained, with juices) and seared beef.
  5. Reduce heat to low, cover, then cook for 2 hours or until beef is very tender. DO NOT let the soup come to a full, rolling boil.
  6. Add potatoes and salt, then continue cooking for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  7. Taste for seasoning then add more salt and/or spices to taste if desired.
  8. Stir in sugar, remove from heat then let rest, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes.

Notes:

  • Add or omit vegetables per your preference.
  • If you prefer frozen vegetables, feel free to use them but you will need to add additional beef broth or water.
  • The flour is used to thicken the soup slightly but is entirely optional. 
  • Adding the salt later in the recipe (with the potatoes) prevents the beans and corn from getting tough.
  • The sugar is used to balance the acidic taste from the canned tomatoes – it will not make the soup taste sweet. We add it at after the potatoes have cooked to prevent them from soaking up the sugar. 
  • I buy a 4-cup carton of beef broth then keep the extra cup on-hand to add if needed. The age and variety of the potatoes will impact how much broth they absorb.
  • If you can plan ahead, this soup is even better the next day. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to serve. Reheat on the stove (try not to let it get toooo hot when reheating – just to the temp you want to eat it at).
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @SouthYourMouth on instagram and hashtag it #southyourmouth
Classic Vegetable Beef Soup - A tried-and-true recipe with tender chunks of beef in a thick, savory stock and all your favorite vegetables.
Keep up with my latest shenanigans by following South Your Mouth!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy