Beef Vegetable Soup
This Beef Vegetable Soup is TRULY a no-fail recipe. My favorite part about it, believe it or not, is the lack of starchy ingredients. (Allow me to explain.)
What this means, is that you can refrigerate or freeze leftovers without worrying that potatoes will get mushy or that pasta, rice, or barley will soak up all of the broth. I love to serve a hearty starch on the side, like mashed potatoes or biscuits.
I use ALL frozen vegetables so that I don’t have to worry about those getting mushy either, you just add them at the end before serving! This way, you’re free to let the soup simmer away, without time being an issue.
And don’t get me started on the meat seasoning. This is about 600 notches above your regular ol’ salt and pepper. So let’s get started. First, the meat options:
Best Cuts of Meat to Use
- Sirloin and Tenderloin Roasts are pricier but more tender, which requires less cooking time to render down than tougher cuts of meat. (Ideal for stove top cooking.)
- Chuck Roast, Rump Roast, and Bottom Rounds are more economical cuts that render down nicely if cooked low and slow. The best option is Chuck, then Rump, then Bottom Round. (This also works fine for the stove top if you have sufficient time to cook it low and slow for several hours.)
- You may also have the option to buy packaged stew meat that’s already cubed. While this also will work, I prefer to purchase it whole so that I can choose the cut I want. Stew meat isn’t always clearly labeled as to what cut it’s from. (But it’s almost always a tougher cut that requires slow cooking.)
How to Make It
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities, full instructions, and Crock Pot Method.
Season and sear the meat on each side until just browned on the outside, leave the middle red and cold. Transfer to a plate.
Deglaze the pan with red wine and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom of the pot. Let the liquid reduce by half.
Add butter and onions and soften for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add browned beef, rosemary, bay leaves, sage, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, and beef bouillon. Cover and leave a small crack for steam to escape. Simmer gently for 2 hours.
Bring to a boil and add cornstarch + cold water mixture. Reduce heat and add frozen vegetables. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and remove bay leaf + rosemary stem. If desired, swirl in 2 tablespoons cold butter for a smooth, velvety finish. Serve with Mashed Potatoes or Biscuits.
- Stove Top Method: Cook the soup for 1.5 hours, then add the potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce back down to a light simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Crock Pot Method: Potatoes can be added right at the beginning with the rest of the ingredients.
How to Thicken Beef Vegetable Soup
- To thicken this stew, we use a slurry (cornstarch + cold water), and mix into boiling liquid on the stove top, or over high heat in the Crock Pot, then we reduce the heat back down.
- Wine Options and Substitutes: High-quality Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot works as well in this recipe. If preferred, beef or chicken broth can be used along with 2 TBS Red Wine Vinegar. The acidity from the vinegar helps render down the meat.
- Adding Mushrooms: To add mushrooms, cook them separately to release some of the water, concentrate their flavor, and give them a nice golden color. Remove them and only add them back at the end when the soup is finished. This lets them retain their color, texture, and flavor.
- Season the meat right before you’re ready to sear it. Once the salt hits the surface of the meat, it will start to extract moisture. So cooking it right away will prevent it from becoming dry.
Make Ahead Method
- Follow the recipe up until step 9. Store the combined ingredients in the fridge for up to 2 days, then proceed as outlined.
What to Serve This With
- Homemade Mashed Potatoes
- Buttermilk Biscuits (You can make these even without buttermilk!)
- Cheddar Bay Biscuits
- Corn Casserole
- Garlic Bread with Cheese
Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Tools For This Recipe
(Amazon affiliate links)– Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.
- 4.5 Quart Deep Pan– The perfect size for this recipe!
- Slow Cooker– This is the one I have, it lets you sear meat in the crock on the stovetop, and automatically switches to warm when the time is up.
- Kitchen Tongs– Makes it easy to handle the meat when searing.
- Kitchen Scale– Perfect for weighing the meat if needed.
- Measuring Spoons– To measure out the seasonings.
- Pinch Bowls– I measure out my seasonings ahead of time and add them to these small bowls so they’re ready to go when it’s time to add them.
- Silicone Spatula– I use these every time I cook.
- Gravy Master -To give the sauce a darker color. (You can find this at the grocery store.)
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Beef Vegetable Soup
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 lbs. chuck roast, see note 1
- 3-6 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup dry red wine, See Note 2.
- 4 Tablespoons cold butter, separated
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig rosemary, or ½ tsp dried
- ¼ teaspoon ground sage
- 7 cups beef broth, or 6 for crock pot to account for liquid reduction on stove
- 1 tsp better than bouillon, or 1 beef bouillon cube
- 2 ½ cups frozen peas/carrots/corn/green beans
- ¼ cup Cornstarch + ¼ cup cold water
- 2-3 drops Gravy Master, (Optional)- Adds an even richer darker color.
- Chopped parsley, to garnish
- See notes for Crock Pot Method, PRO Tips, and FAQ!
- Combine the beef seasoning and set aside. Measure and set out all additional ingredients.
- Cut meat into 1-inch cubes, discard any large pieces of fat. Fat marbleized into the meat is fine!
- Sprinkle the meat with the seasoning mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with flour and toss to coat again.
- Heat 3 Tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the meat in batches, don’t overcrowd the pan). Brown on each side for 30-40 seconds and set aside on a plate. Add more oil in between batches as needed. (The middle of the meat should still be red and cold!)
- Turn the heat off. Carefully wipe up any very black spots but leave the brown remanence on the bottom of the pan. This is called ‘fond’ and will give the soup plenty of flavor.
- Once the pan has cooled a bit, add the wine and turn heat up to medium-high. Use a silicone spatula to “clean” (deglaze) the bottom of the pan. Watch it carefully while it reduces.
- After 3-5 minutes, or once the liquid has reduced by half, add 2 TBS butter and the diced onions. Cook for 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. By now the wine should be almost completely gone with only red colored onions left.
- Add everything else except cornstarch mixture and vegetables: (Browned beef, Tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, rosemary, ground sage, beef broth, and 1 beef bouillon cube.)
- Cover the pot, leaving just a small crack, and simmer over medium-low heat for 2 hours (or more). The liquid should simmer softly and reduce slowly with a little bit of steam escaping.
- Once ready to serve, prepare cornstarch mixture. Add ¼ cup of cornstarch to a small Tupperware container. Add ¼ cup COLD water. Cover and shake to combine.
- Bring the soup to a full boil. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture in increments, using a silicone spatula to carefully stir it in as you do so. If the soup reaches your desired level of thickness before the cornstarch mixture is gone, you can refrain from adding the rest. (I like to add it all!)
- Reduce heat to low. Add in the frozen vegetables and stir to combine. Heat for 10 minutes. (If a darker color is preferred, add up to 3 drops of Gravy Master.)
- Remove from heat. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary stem. Swirl in 2 Tablespoons of cold butter for a smooth, velvety finish. This is a technique that chefs use called “monter au beurre”.
- Sirloin and Tenderloin roasts are pricier but more tender, which requires less cooking time to render down than tougher cuts of meat.
- Chuck Roast, Rump Roast, and Bottom Rounds are more economical cuts that render down nicely if cooked low and slow. The best option of the 3 is Chuck, then Rump, then Bottom Round.
- You may have the option to buy packaged stew meat that's already cubed. That works as well, although if possible, I prefer to purchase it whole so that I can choose the cut I want. Stew meat isn’t always clearly labeled as which cut it’s from.
Note 2- Wine Options and Substitutes:
- High-quality Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot works as well in this recipe. If preferred, beef or chicken broth can be used along with 2 TBS Red Wine Vinegar. The acidity from the vinegar helps render down the meat.
Note 3- Adding Mushrooms:
- To add mushrooms, cook them separately to release some of the water, concentrate their flavor, and give them a nice golden color. Remove them and only add them back at the end when the soup is finished. This lets them retain their color, texture, and flavor.
- See blog post for instructions in adding potatoes.
Crock Pot Instructions:Note: Since there is much less liquid reduction in the Crock Pot, use 6 cups of beef broth instead of 7. You may also choose to use 2 beef bouillon cubes instead of 1.
- Follow recipe instructions up to step 8. Transfer wine/onions/garlic to the Crock Pot along with beef and all additional ingredients except for cornstarch mixture and frozen vegetables.
- Cook on low for 7 ½ to 8 hours or high for 3½ to 4 hours.
- Turn the heat on high. Combine ¼ cup COLD water + ¼ cup cornstarch and stir it into the Crock Pot. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add frozen vegetables and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary stem.
- Swirl in 2 Tablespoons of cold butter for a smooth, velvety finish.