Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup ♥

Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup, another healthy vegetable soup ♥ AVeggieVenture.com.
Today's hearty soup: Homemade Vegetable Beef, all about the vegetables but made with homemade beef stock.

Fresh & Seasonal, Packed With Winter Vegetables. Great for Meal Prep. Naturally Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Soup, Glorious Soup. Especially During the Cold Months.

As the air turns cooler in the fall, the food on the table turns warm. From then until spring, soup it is, a couple of times a week. I make soup in big batches; the leftovers are perfect for quick lunches and light suppers. Often, some goes into the freezer. (Hint-Hint: Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup freezes beautifully!)

Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup is a flavorful soup. It is all about the vegetables but with enough meat to feel substantial. Make it over a couple of days if you can, so that the fat can be removed from the beef stock and the flavors can meld.

And it's a "concept recipe" – more a starting point, really, than an exacting recipe to follow, so never the same twice. I use a combination of fresh vegetables and frozen vegetables. For convenience, you could use all frozen but do skip the frozen mixed "stew' vegetables except in a total pinch, they can be gummy. But frozen green beans, corn and and peas are real winners. For a low-carb soup, omit the potatoes, corn, carrots and peas, then double up with the other vegetables or add other low-carb veggies.

I recently remade this soup, after too many years and a long attachment to Beef Barley Soup with Mushrooms. But really? Vegetable Beef Soup is my kinda soup. It uses up the soup bones in the freezer. It lets me play with vegetables that are on hand. The real testament? The recipe is now recorded on a 3x5 recipe card, ready to make on a whim.

Ketchup in Soup, Really?

Yep, really. Ketchup is a low-brow but quick and reliable way of inserting a dollop of flavor. It's just tomatoes, vinegar and spices – think of it as Midwestern hot sauce!

Soup's On!

Back in 2007, Homemade Vegetable Beef Stew was one of many new soup recipes I shared as part of a food blogging event I hosted called Soup's On, a list of great soup recipes from food bloggers around the world. That day, I reported: "Today we got our first recipe from the southern hemisphere and our first seafood soup. They're all looking ooooh so good!"


Hands-on time: 40 minutes over 4 - 48 hours
Makes 10 cups

If you already have beef stock, skip straight to making the soup. You'll want about 5 cups stock.
10 minutes hands-on over about 2 hours

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds meaty soup bones
1 large onion, cut in large pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
6 cups water

25 minutes hands-on over about 1 hour

About 5 cups beef stock
15 ounces canned diced tomato
1/2 cup ketchup
8 cups (about 2lb/900g) fresh and/or frozen vegetables – 1 cup each, diced or chopped if needed
2 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste, especially if using a commercial beef stock)
Generous sprinkling freshly ground pepper
Meat from bones
Additional salt, pepper and ketchup, to taste

Additional salt, pepper and ketchup, to taste

MAKE THE STOCK Heat a large, heavy pot on MEDIUM HIGH, then add the oil and heat until shimmery. Add the soup bones (they should sizzle!), in batches if necessary, and brown the edges, just enough to create a bit of crustiness on the meaty parts. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves and water. Bring just to a boil, cover and adjust the heat to maintain a very slow simmer; let simmer for about 90 minutes. (If your stove won't hold a slow simmer, many high-BTU stoves won't, bring the stock to a boil on the stove, then finish in the oven for 90 minutes at 215F/100C.) Refrigerate overnight to solidify the beef fat. Before continuing, scrape off and discard the fat layer. Remove the soup bones and set aside for the moment. Pour the stock through a strainer, discard the onion/garlic/bay leaves. You may want to rinse/wash the cooking pot. Cut the meat off the bones.

MAKE THE SOUP Bring the stock to a boil in the same large, heavy pot. Add the tomatoes, ketchup, salt and pepper. Add the vegetables; hold back the vegetables that take less time to cook (see ALANNA's TIPS). Return to a boil, cover, reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer and let simmer for about 30 minutes, adding the shorter-cook vegetables in the last 10 or 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the soup bones and cut into small pieces, stir into the soup. Once the vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper and even the ketchup. Refrigerate for 8 - 24 hours before serving, allowing the flavors to meld.

SERVE & ENJOY! Bring the soup to a boil. Taste and adjust seasoning again.

SCRAPING OFF THE BEEF FAT Not everyone will make this choice, for me, it's a combination of calories and mouthfeel. The last batch of soup, I removed about 150g of pure fat. It didn't go to waste, the birds loved it!
WHICH VEGETABLES? For the soup in the photo, I made a slightly carby soup, what I happened to have on hand. It includes potatoes with their skins on, peeled sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, parsnips, frozen corn, tomatillo and hominy. Another time, I used potato with their skins on, carrot, celery, cabbage, okra, frozen corn, frozen green beans and frozen green peas; I added the green beans for the last 10 minutes of simmering, the peas for the last 3 minutes.
VEGETABLES TO AVOID Avoid broccoli and cauliflower, which get a little skunky. Tomatillos add a lovely natural sourness to the soup but do sort of "melt" into the broth.
MORE HEARTY? Add additional cooked beef, even more vegetables. Some times, I throw in a little (just 2oz/50g, no more! unless you want the pasta to take over) small pasta while the vegetables cook, at the end of the simmering period for as many minutes as specified on the pasta package. Then I let the soup rest off heat, for an hour, letting the noodles plump up and absorb more liquid. This is a technique I learned when perfecting My Chicken Noodle Soup. I love that the same pasta-for-soup technique works with other recipes!
Note to Vegetarians

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Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2007, 2019 (repub) & 2020

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. What kind of meat/ bones can I use that is best.

    1. Sunny ~ Oh that is such a great question! And because I’m lucky to just ask my husband (who “gets” meat in a way I don’t) to pick something out from the freezer, I had to check with him. First, yes, bones are important. If you’re talking to a real butcher, he/she may have some soup bones tucked away somewhere. If they’re meaty, great. If not, you’ll want to add another piece that does have some meat on it, that is, if you want your soup to be noticeably beefy. Look for something (again, bone-in if you can) called “Chuck” (Chuck Shoulder, Chuck Roast, Chuck-Eye Roast, Top Chuck, etc) or “Bottom” (Bottom Round Roast, Bottom Eye Roast, etc.) or “Rump” or “Round” (Rump Roast, Eye Round Roast, Top Round, Round Tip Roast, etc.) Perhaps there’s a mnemonic device? "Chuck’s Bottom (aka Rump) is Round.” Tee hee ...

  2. Nothing to do with today's post but been meaning to send this for awhile. I remember you saying you loved cabbage as I do and just found my favorite way to cook it, saute with some coconut oil and put just a little smaller cast iron pan on top while it is cooking to weigh down and help cook the water out. Put usual salt and pepper on it and flip over here and there till lightly or medium browned. Yummy! Would be great with a little sour cream (of course what isn't) if I wasn't lactose intolerant. ;((

    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes.

    Best always,

    1. Dotti ~ So what you end up with is like a cabbage pancake? or pancake fritter?! VERY cool ... I’d totally put an egg on that! Yes, with a little sour cream on the side -- or better yet, Lime Crema! -- or hmmm, maybe done with cumin or hot sauce instead of lime, though. Thanks for the idea!! Wish I had a cabbage here this minute!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna