How To Make Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

updated Jan 11, 2021
How To Make Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

Vegetable beef soup made with hearty pieces browned beef and a smart mix of fresh and frozen vegetables.


MakesAbout 4 quarts

Prep40 minutes

Cook1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes

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beef stew sits finished in a bowl with cheese and a spoon on a napkin near it
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Is there a better way to end to a blustery winter day than with a bowl of steaming vegetable beef soup? It’s the perfect one-pot meal, packed with meltingly tender beef and hearty pieces of potatoes, carrots, and other veggies in a rich and savory tomato broth. While some beefy winter favorites take all day to tenderize, this hearty soup can be made any night of the week. Here’s how to do it.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

What Beef Is Best for Vegetable Beef Soup?

When you’re making a soup that delivers hearty bites of tender beef, look for stew beef. Beef labeled for stew usually comes from the chuck or round — tough cuts that transform when simmered in broth or other liquids. Stew beef is usually diced in large, two- to three-bite pieces. For this soup, take the time to cut each piece of beef into smaller, 1/2-inch pieces so you can taste beef and veggies in every bite.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Searing the Beef Is the Most Important Step

Dump-and-stir soups have their appeal, and in many cases extra steps simply aren’t worth the effort. But this is decidedly not the case for this vegetable beef soup. The savory flavor that comes from searing the beef is what sets this soup apart from every other vegetable soup you’ve tried. You’ll brown the pieces of beef in batches to develop a flavorful, seared crust without overcrowding the pot. Be sure to provide enough space between the pieces of beef for moisture to evaporate and fond to form without steaming the meat.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

How To Make Vegetable Beef Soup

After searing the beef, add the aromatics to the pot. As the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic cook, use the moisture the vegetables release to scrape up the flavorful browned bits that form on the bottom of the pot. Once the carrots and celery begin to cook, their color will become more vibrant. At this point, stir in the potatoes, broth, tomatoes, herbs, and the beef. Bring the soup to a simmer, and cook until the tough meat is tender and the potatoes are cooked through. Tender green beans and frozen peas can overcook quickly, so wait until the final five minutes to add them to the soup. Serve with fresh parsley and lots of crusty bread.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell
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How to make hearty vegetable beef soup.

How To Make Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

Vegetable beef soup made with hearty pieces browned beef and a smart mix of fresh and frozen vegetables.

Prep time 40 minutes

Cook time 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes

Makes About 4 quarts

Serves 8

Nutritional Info


  • 1 1/2 pounds

    beef stew meat

  • 3 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound

    red potatoes

  • 1

    large yellow onion

  • 2

    medium carrots

  • 2 stalks


  • 4 cloves


  • 1 cup

    green beans (about 3 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 6 cups

    low-sodium beef broth

  • 1 (28-ounce) can

    diced tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon

    dried Italian seasoning

  • 1/4 cup

    fresh parsley leaves

  • 1 (10- to 13-ounce) package

    frozen peas (about 2 cups, do not thaw)

  • Crusty bread, for serving (optional)


  • Dutch oven or stockpot

  • Tongs

  • Chef's knife and cutting board

  • Measuring cups

  • Can opener

  • Wooden spoon

  • Ladle


  1. Cut and season the beef stew meat. Cut 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat into 1/2-inch pieces. Pat dry with paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

  2. Prepare the vegetables. Dice the following (no larger than 1/2-inch), keeping them separate: 1 pound red potatoes, 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 cup), 2 peeled medium carrots (about 1 cup), and 2 celery stalks (about 1/2 cup). Finely chop 4 garlic cloves. Trim and cut 1 cup green beans into 1-inch pieces.

  3. Brown the meat. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of the beef in a single layer, and cook until browned but not cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with browning the remaining beef, then transfer to the plate.

  4. Sauté the mirepoix. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and sauté until softened, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons kosher salt, carrots, celery, and garlic, and cook until the carrots are brightened in color, 3 to 5 minutes.

  5. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, and broth. Add the potatoes, 6 cups beef broth, 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, and the beef with any accumulated juices on the plate. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.

  6. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves.

  7. Cook the green beans and peas. Add the green beans and 1 package frozen peas (about 2 cups) to the soup. Cook until the beans are tender, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with kosher salt as needed.

  8. Serve the soup. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with parsley, and serve with crusty bread if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: All the vegetables, except the potatoes, can be diced and refrigerated in separate containers up to 3 days in advance.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.