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Is anything better for lunch or dinner than a hearty vegetable beef soup?
Vegetable Beef Soup Any Way You Like It
Vegetable beef soup is one of the most popular soups around. There’s numerous reasons why.
First reason is simple; it tastes so good. It really is a meal in itself because it contains meat and veggies.
Another reason is that if you have any leftover beef and vegetables, it’s a great way to use those leftovers up.
Maybe best of all is that it can be a quick choice for dinner when you’re using up what you have on hand or it can be a labor of love when you make your own stock.
Making Your Own Stock
Making your own stock isn’t necessary for this soup, but it’s well worth it if you have the time.
First you start with about two pounds (I kg) of meaty beef bones. Lay them in a single layer in a large baking pan then toss in a cut-up carrot and a cut-up medium onion. Preheat your oven to 450F/220C and oven brown them for approximately 30 minutes, turning them half way through the cooking.
Place the browned bones in a large stockpot or Instant pot. Deglaze that baking dish with a bit of water and scrape up the browned bits. Add this mixture to the bones in the pot. Add a bay leaf, some celery ribs or leaves, a cut up onion and 3 whole peppercorns and you’re set to go. You can add a teaspoon of salt but I don’t bother since I season when I make the soup. You simmer this about 4 hours on the stovetop or cook at high pressure in the Instant Pot (affiliate link) for 2 hours. The Instant Pot produces much better stock so I advise it.
When done, cut any meat off the bone to use in the soup and strain the liquid through a strainer so all those bits and pieces are not in your stock. You can easily degrease the stock by putting it in a bowl and refrigerating until chilled. Then the congealed fat is simply lifted out and discarded.
A Word About Veggies
As always, use what you have.
I like celery and carrot in particular, so that’s what I use. But again, use what you like.
Pasta is a great addition to make the soup heartier. I used orzo here.
Vegetable Beef Soup
- 2 quarts beef stock
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes drained
- 1 cup cut up cooked beef
- 1/2 cup orzo
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried from the jar
Homemade Beef Stock (Nice but not necessary):
- 2 lbs meaty beef bones
- 2 quarts water
- 1 small onion cut up
- 1 rib celery cut up
- 3 whole peppercorns
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 bay leaf
- Making the stock--place beef bones in a baking dish and preheat oven to 450F/220C. Roast bones for 30 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time.
- Place the bones in an electric pressure cooker. Pour about 1/2 cup of the water in the roasting pan and scrape up any browned bits; add this to the pressure cooker.
- Next add the rest of the water, onion, celery, peppercorns, salt and bay leaf.
- Seal the pot and cook on high pressure for 2 hours. Let pressure reduce naturally (don't release the valve) then strain the stock discarding all the veggies, but reseving the bones. Pour stock in a bowl and refrigerate until it's chilled and fat is congealed. Remove congealed fat.
- To make soup--place the degreased stock in a dutch oven. Add the sliced carrots, diced celery and thyme. Cut about 1 cup of the meat off the reserved bones and add it to the pot. Add the drained tomatoes and heat to boiling over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until veggies are tender.
- Add the orzo and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until orzo is tender.