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This old fashioned vegetable beef soup is a healthy and easy dinner for cool days! The one pot meal is loaded with nourishing vegetables, chunks of tender meat, plenty of potatoes, and a variety of fresh herbs for a flavorful and cozy dish that the whole family will love. Serve each warm bowl with a loaf of crusty breada skillet of cornbreadflaky buttermilk biscuits, or a simple green salad.

Overhead shot of a spoon in a bowl of vegetable beef soup

Beef Vegetable Soup

Classic vegetable beef soup is truly comfort in a bowl! It’s one of those soothing options that just makes you feel healthy, strong, and nourished with every bite. When you have a quiet Sunday afternoon at home, simmer a pot of this soup on the stove and sit down to a delicious family dinner. You’ll be able to enjoy the leftovers for lunch all week, too!

What is the difference between vegetable beef soup and vegetable beef stew?

Beef vegetable soup is a rustic dish that includes affordable cuts of beef simmered with vegetables in beef broth until tender. The soup is cozy, rich, and satisfying, and tastes similar to a classic beef stew.

So what’s the difference between a soup and a stew? In general, the primary distinction is the amount of liquid in your pot. A soup has much more broth than a stew, so the ingredients are either completely liquified and pureed, or completely submerged in the broth. By contrast, a chunky stew tends to be much heartier than a soup, with less broth and a slightly thicker consistency.

Overhead shot of a ladle in a Dutch oven full of the best vegetable beef soup

What can I add to vegetable soup to make it taste better?

We’ve tried plenty of mediocre soup recipes over the years, but there are a few ingredients in this dish that set it apart from the rest.

  • The tomato paste thickens the soup slightly, and adds rich tomato flavor.
  • Plenty of fresh herbs (or dried herbs, in a pinch) make the soup more interesting and satisfying.
  • Worcestershire sauce adds that little something “extra” in the background. It contributes umami flavor that pairs nicely with the beef.
Square image of vegetable beef soup

What beef is best for soup?

I purchase “stew beef” or “stew meat” that has already been cut into cubes for a shortcut. Stew meat is made from cuts of beef with lots of tough connective tissue, typically chuck (which comes from the front shoulder) or round (the rear muscle). When you slowly braise these tough cuts in a liquid, the connective tissue breaks down and becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender.

That’s why it’s traditionally simmered in stock and turned into beef soup, beef stew, or pot roast. If you can’t find this prepared stew beef, you can purchase a whole chuck roast and dice it into 1-2 inch cubes at home.

Adding beef stewing meat to a pot

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a big pot of easy vegetable beef soup. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Olive oil: to brown the meat.
  • Beef stew meat: I use “stew beef” or “stew meat” that has already been cut into cubes for a shortcut, but you can also purchase a whole chuck roast and dice it into bite-size pieces at home.
  • Carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, and garlic: so many fresh vegetables and aromatics that add flavor to the soup and give it a rich, thick, texture.
  • Tomato paste: adds flavor and thickens the soup.
  • Beef broth or beef stock: the base of the soup. Use low sodium broth if you’re sensitive to salt.
  • Worcestershire sauce: contributes salty umami flavor.
  • Petite diced tomatoes: canned tomatoes with their juices add extra flavor to the soup and broth.
  • Rosemary, thyme, parsley, oregano, and bay leaf: for earthy, savory flavor.
  • Potato: I use a peeled, diced russet potato, but you can substitute with red potatoes or yukon gold potatoes. If using the smaller potatoes, you don’t need to peel them.
  • Green beans: use frozen cut green beans that you can add at the end of the cooking time, just until they’re heated through and soft. This only takes a few minutes, and avoids mushy veggies.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: enhance the other flavors in the soup. The total amount of seasoning required will vary depending on your personal preference and on the saltiness of your broth. Just taste and add more as you go!
Pouring beef broth into a Dutch oven

How to Make Vegetable Beef Soup

Comfort food at its best! I like to make this one-pot meal in a Dutch oven on the stove top, but I’ve also included instructions below for the crock pot. Pick the method that suits your schedule.

  1. Brown the beef in the olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot just to give it some nice color and caramelization on the outside. Work in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pot. Then remove the meat to a plate.
  2. Sauté the vegetables and garlic.
  3. Add the tomatoes, herbs, bay leaf, broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. These give the soup great flavor!
  4. Return the beef to the pot, stir in the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low.
  5. Simmer, covered, for about 1 hour.
  6. Stir in the green beans and simmer until the veggies are tender, about 5-10 more minutes. Ladle into bowls, garnish with fresh herbs (if desired), and serve!
Square overhead shot of a pot of beef vegetable soup

Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup

To make grandma’s vegetable beef soup in the slow cooker, brown the beef in a pot or skillet, as instructed, and then transfer to a slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the green beans) and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours. At the end of cooking, stir in the green beans. Cover and cook for about 10-15 more minutes, or until heated through.

Hands eating a square of cornbread with a bowl of beef and vegetable soup

Storage

This is a great make ahead meal that you can prepare in advance and then stash in your refrigerator or freezer for quick meals later in the week. The soup will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If freezing, be aware that the potatoes may become mushy when thawed. Also, allow the soup to cool to room temperature before freezing.

Recipe Variations

  • Add other vegetables, such as frozen corn or peas (stir them in at the end with the green beans), cabbage, diced zucchini, cauliflower, or broccoli.
  • Rice or Barley: both of these short grains make a nice addition to the soup as well! Stir in a few cups of cooked rice or barley at the end of the cooking time.
  • Noodles or Pasta: in lieu of the potatoes, add a few cups of cooked macaroni, egg noodles, rotini, or other pasta of choice.
  • Add more of your favorite seasoning, such as turmeric, paprika, chili powder, or even a dash of curry powder.
  • Beef stew meat is ideal for this recipe, but you can substitute with diced chuck or short rib. These affordable cuts become very tender when cooked low-and-slow in a simmering soup!
  • Add a splash of red wine for extra flavor, or a dash of balsamic vinegar instead of the Worcestershire sauce.
Square overhead shot of a bowl of vegetable and beef soup with cornbread on the side

Tips for the Best Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe

  • To serve a larger group, double all of the ingredients. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same.
  • Brown the meat. This is an extra step, but it’s worth the effort. The caramelized surface gives the beef extra flavor, while the browned bits and drippings in the pot add even more flavor to the soup.
  • When browning the meat, do not overcrowd the pot. Instead, work in batches so that the meat is spaced apart in a single layer. This will help to achieve that great sear on the meat, whereas a crowded pan will steam the meat.
  • Cook the beef long enough to break down the tough connective tissue and fibers. If your meat is still tough after about 1 hour, simmer the soup a little bit longer. This will result in a delicious soup with tender chunks of beef throughout.
  • Keep the Dutch oven covered while simmering in order to trap moisture in the soup. You can remove the cover during the final 10 minutes or so (after adding the green beans).
  • Garnish each bowl with fresh parsley, basil, or other chopped herbs for a bright finishing touch.
Overhead image of hands eating a bowl of vegetable beef soup
Square image of vegetable beef soup

Vegetable Beef Soup

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Calories 186 kcal
This old fashioned vegetable beef soup is a healthy and easy dinner for cool days!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. beef stewing meat or boneless chuck roast, cut into cubes
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup peeled and diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ of a small onion, finely-diced
  • 4 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth or beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (or ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley (or ¼ teaspoon dried parsley)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 cups frozen cut green beans
  • Optional garnish: additional chopped fresh herbs; crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper, to taste. Working in batches, when the oil shimmers, add the beef and brown on all sides (it doesn’t need to be cooked through – just make sure it gets nice color on the outside) – about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pot and set it aside (leave the fat in the pot).
  • Add the carrots, celery, and onion to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for one more minute.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, parsley, oregano, bay leaf, broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Scrape up all of the flavorful beef bits from the bottom of the pot as you stir! Return the beef to the pot, along with any accumulated juices from the plate. Stir in the potatoes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • Increase the heat and bring soup to a boil. As soon as the soup boils, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour (or until beef is tender).
  • Stir in the green beans. Simmer for 5-10 more minutes, or until heated through. Discard bay leaf. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Ladle into bowls and garnish with additional fresh herbs or crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

Notes

  • To serve a larger group, double all of the ingredients. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same.
  • Brown the meat. This is an extra step, but it’s worth the effort. The caramelized surface gives the beef extra flavor, while the browned bits and drippings in the pot add even more flavor to the soup.
  • When browning the meat, do not overcrowd the pot. Instead, work in batches so that the meat is spaced apart in a single layer. This will help to achieve that great sear on the meat, whereas a crowded pan will steam the meat.
  • Cook the beef long enough to break down the tough connective tissue and fibers. If your meat is still tough after about 1 hour, simmer the soup a little bit longer. This will result in a delicious soup with tender chunks of beef throughout.
  • Keep the Dutch oven covered while simmering in order to trap moisture in the soup. You can remove the cover during the final 10 minutes or so (after adding the green beans).
  • Garnish each bowl with fresh parsley, basil, or other chopped herbs for a bright finishing touch.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 186kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 15gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 319mgPotassium: 774mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 2171IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: beef vegetable soup, homemade vegetable beef soup, vegetable beef soup
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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