I love a good soup and I have several soup recipes I enjoy, but I had been really hankering for a savory vegetable beef soup and I was having a hard time finding canned soup that didn’t have this weird sweet undertaste that I don’t remember from my childhood. So I hunted around online for vegetable beef soup recipes and found several that were almost but not quite what I had in mind. That gave me a basic idea and I put this together for a cold, dreary Saturday. We ate it with nice, crusty country sourdough and I’m quite happy with how it came out.
- 2.5 lbs stew beef, cut up into half-inch cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- About 6 red potatoes, diced
- Diced baby carrots, about half a 1lb bag
- 12oz bag frozen green beans (can use fresh if preferred)
- 12oz bag frozen peas
- 15.25oz can white or shoepeg corn (can use yellow if preferred)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 tb good beef base (I use “Better than Boillon”)
- 1 6oz can of tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 cups water
There’s a fair amount of food in this recipe; I used my 6-quart slow cooker and it was full. If you feel comfortable adjusting the recipe size, go for it. It’s an easy soup recipe, so it’s pretty forgiving.
For this recipe I usually get stew beef which comes in larger chunks, and cut it up into roughly half-inch cubes. You can also use a roast and cut it up as well. Brown it in a skillet. I add about a tablespoon of olive oil if the beef cut I have is very lean, but if you have more marbling through your beef you can skip the oil.
While the beef is browning, prepare and add to your slow cooker: Potatoes, carrots, green beans, corn, yellow onion, garlic (don’t add the peas yet). Doesn’t matter what order. Once your beef is browned, add that as well. You can also wait til it’s browned and all the veggies are prepared, and then add everything in at once. You’re gonna stir it, so the order isn’t a big deal. I do it this way only to save time so I don’t spend as long trying to move around a kitchen with four yelling cats underfoot who think anything that happens in the kitchen needs to involve them.
Add the beef base, tomato paste, bay leaves, salt and pepper, and water and give it a good stir. The water should comfortably cover the ingredients, you can adjust the amount if need be (see the pic below, taken after adding water, before cooking). Cook on low for about 8 hours. About 15-30 minutes before you’re ready to eat, add the frozen peas (They get mushy if you add them any sooner).