Old Fashioned Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe

Old-Fashioned Vegetable Beef Soup: The Ultimate Comfort Food That Will Warm Your Soul
Prep. time:
240 min
8 dishes

Old-Fashioned Vegetable Beef Soup: The Ultimate Comfort Food That Will Warm Your Soul!

There’s something magical about a steaming bowl of hearty, old-fashioned vegetable beef soup that just feels like a warm hug from grandma.

The tender chunks of beef, the colorful medley of vegetables, and the rich, savory broth all come together in a symphony of flavors that will transport you back to simpler times. This is the kind of soup that will make your whole house smell amazing and have everyone rushing to the table with anticipation.

Preparation Time

  • Active prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 2-3 hours
  • Total time: 3-4 hours
  • Serves: 8-10 people
  • Difficulty: Easy

I know, I know – it sounds like a long time to wait for soup. But trust me, every minute of simmering is worth it for the depth of flavor and the melt-in-your-mouth texture of the beef. Plus, most of that time is hands-off, so you can kick back with a good book or catch up on your favorite show while the magic happens in the pot.

Ingredients for the Best Vegetable Beef Soup Ever

  • 2 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The key to a really great vegetable beef soup is using quality ingredients, especially when it comes to the beef. I like to use chuck roast because it has a good amount of marbling that melts into the broth as it cooks, but you could also use short ribs or even stew meat. And don’t skimp on the vegetables – they should be fresh, vibrant, and bursting with flavor.

For a vegan version, simply omit the beef and use vegetable broth instead. You could also add some plant-based protein like chickpeas or lentils to make it more filling. And if you’re gluten-free, just make sure your broth and tomato sauce are certified GF.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Vegetable Beef Soup

Now that we’ve got our ingredients lined up, let’s dive into the cooking process. Don’t worry if you’re not a master chef – this soup is very forgiving and hard to mess up!

  1. Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown on all sides, about 5-7 minutes total. Remove the beef and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes, peas, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, bay leaves, thyme, and basil. Stir to combine.
  4. Return the browned beef to the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the beef is tender and the vegetables are cooked through.
  5. Remove the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with crusty bread or crackers.

There are a few different methods you can use to cook this soup, depending on your preferences and equipment. If you have a slow cooker or Instant Pot, you can definitely adapt the recipe to use those – just brown the beef and sauté the veggies first, then transfer everything to the appliance and cook on low for 8 hours or high pressure for 30 minutes. You could also make this soup on the stovetop, in the oven (at 325°F for 3-4 hours), or even in a large electric skillet.

Nutritional Benefits of Old-Fashioned Vegetable Beef Soup

  • Packed with protein and iron from the beef, which is essential for building muscle and maintaining energy.
  • Loaded with vitamins and minerals from the vegetables, especially vitamin A (from the carrots), vitamin C (from the tomatoes), and potassium (from the potatoes).
  • The broth is hydrating and can help soothe a sore throat or clear congestion when you’re feeling under the weather.
  • Homemade soup is generally lower in sodium and preservatives than canned or restaurant varieties, so you can feel good about what you’re putting in your body.
  • Comfort foods like soup can boost your mood and reduce stress by triggering feel-good memories and associations.

Variations and Upgrades for Your Vegetable Beef Soup

Want to take your soup to the next level? Here are some tasty ideas to mix things up:

  • Add some diced bell peppers or mushrooms for extra veggie goodness.
  • Throw in a handful of egg noodles or barley during the last 20 minutes of cooking for a heartier texture.
  • Stir in some chopped fresh parsley or a squeeze of lemon juice right before serving to brighten up the flavors.
  • Top each bowl with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese or a dollop of sour cream for a creamy, tangy finish.
  • Make it a complete meal by serving with a side salad or some garlic bread for dipping.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vegetable Beef Soup

Can I use ground beef instead of chuck roast? While you could use ground beef in a pinch, I really recommend sticking with chuck roast or another cut of stew meat for the best texture and flavor. Ground beef tends to get overcooked and dry in soups, while the larger pieces of chuck will stay tender and juicy.

How long does vegetable beef soup last in the fridge? If stored properly in an airtight container, your soup should last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Just reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave until steaming hot before serving.

Can I freeze this soup for later? Absolutely! This soup freezes beautifully, so it’s a great option for meal prepping or stocking your freezer. Let the soup cool completely, then transfer to freezer-safe containers or bags and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

What if I don’t have all the vegetables listed in the recipe? No worries – this soup is very adaptable to whatever veggies you have on hand. Swap out the peas for green beans, the potatoes for sweet potatoes, or the celery for leeks. As long as you have a good variety of colors and textures, you can’t go wrong.

I’m not a fan of beef. Can I make this soup with another protein? Sure thing! You could easily substitute the beef for chicken, turkey, or even lamb if you prefer. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly (chicken will cook faster than beef, for example). Or, as mentioned earlier, you can make a vegetarian version with beans or lentils instead.

I’ll never forget the first time I made this soup for my family. It was a chilly Sunday afternoon and we had just come in from raking leaves in the yard. The whole house smelled amazing as the soup simmered away on the stove, and my kids kept sneaking into the kitchen to peek into the pot and ask when it would be ready. When we finally sat down to eat, there was hardly a sound at the table beyond the clinking of spoons against bowls. Everyone was too busy savoring each comforting bite to talk! From then on, vegetable beef soup became a staple in our fall and winter meal rotation.

So what are you waiting for, friends? Gather up your ingredients, put on some cozy socks, and let’s get this soup party started. Your taste buds (and your soul) will thank you. And don’t forget to snap a photo of your finished masterpiece and share it on social media with #oldfashionedsoup – let’s spread the love and comfort far and wide!

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