This easy homemade Beef Vegetable Soup is so healthy and hearty. It can be made on the stovetop or in an instant pot. It’s an old-fashioned, heartwarming, belly-filling recipe packed with tender vegetables, fall-apart-succulent chunks of beef and flavorful tomato broth.
Why You’re Going to Love This Beef Vegetable Soup
- It takes 10 minutes to prep, and the rest is hands-free.
- It’s a meal that’s so easy to prepare that it almost cooks itself. Brimming with goodness, you’re going to love this one.
- Hearty and filling, the combination of meat and vegetables will hit the spot.
- Easy to make; this recipe doesn’t require any major culinary skills.
- Budget-friendly and fancy-free.
- A comforting meal when you’re in need of a little care.
Beef Vegetable Soup Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to whip up this tasty soup:
- Oil. Choose an oil with a high smoke point for searing the beef. I like avocado oil for its neutral taste but canola and grapeseed oil are good too.
- Beef. Bone-in meat (like a bone-in steak or short rib) adds extra flavor, and the meat next to the bone stays so tender. Inexpensive beef stew meat cuts are an excellent protein alternative, as the slow simmer tenderizes it to a fall-apart texture. Chuck roast is excellent (and is what I used in the video below).
- Salt. Keep testing the seasoning and make sure you’re layering it in at every step (when you sear the meat, cook the onions, add water, etc.)
- Black pepper. It brings a little heat. You could even add some red pepper flakes for more warmth.
- Onion. I use a lovely large yellow onion for this recipe.
- Celery. Develops the aromatics in this dish. You can switch it out for leeks if you need to, but I love the way celery helps to build the base flavor in a dish.
- Carrots. Brings color and earthy, sweet notes to the soup.
- Zucchini. Adds a little tender texture and mouthfeel appeal; sliced fresh green beans are a good substitute and deliver extra fiber.
- Tomato paste. A color and umami-flavor enhancer.
- Beef broth. You can substitute “better than bouillon” with concentrated bouillon, diluted as per the container’s instructions.
- Frozen peas. Little pops of freshness in this soup; I love how these veggies lift the soup.
- Fresh Parsley. The perfect herb for beef soup, but oregano or sliced basil works well too.
How to Make This Easy Beef Vegetable Soup
1. Firstly, heat a Dutch oven (just found this one on Amazon and it’s so pretty) on medium-high heat. Add the oil and get it super hot, then add the beef. Season the beef with 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. You’ll want to let it sear for 4-6 minutes until it releases with ease from the base. Seal the meat on all sides and then transfer it to a plate.
2. Add the core veggies to the pot; onions, celery, and carrots. Sprinkle in a teaspoon of salt and cook the vegetables until they are soft, for around 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook it for about 2 minutes or until it turns a shade darker.
4. Add the broth and beef to the pot.
5. Add in the diced zucchini, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 2 cups of water. Cover the pot with a lid and, bring to a boil. Once it’s come up to boil, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 2 hours, or until the beef is tender.
6. Taste the soup and season it so that it is well-balanced. Serve with lovely minced parsley.
What to Serve with Beef Vegetable Soup
Make Ahead Instructions
You can make this whole recipe ahead, really.
Additionally, the carrots, onions and celery can be sliced and diced ahead of time.
Store them in an airtight container, ready to go. They will keep this way for 2-3 days.
The soup can be packed in an airtight container, once cool, and stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
I love making a batch and freezing it for an easy lunch or supper. This recipe will keep in the freezer for about 3 months, so make good use of any leftovers.
Gently reheat this soup in the microwave or on a stove top at low heat.
Variations of Classic Old-Fashioned Beef Vegetable Soup
- Pour in a can of tomatoes, a clove of garlic, a little dried oregano, and basil, and you’ll have an Italian-style version of this soup. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan, and it’ll finish it off perfectly.
- Add in some cumin, corn, black beans, and chili powder for a Mexican-style variation. Serve it with a dollop of sour cream and some fresh cilantro.
- For an Irish version, pop in some Yukon gold or red russet potatoes, bay leaves, turnips, rosemary, and barley.
- You could make this soup with ground beef and reduce the cook time to a brief 30-minute simmer to blend the flavors.
- Mix up the vegetables you use: I love to use leeks instead of onion and/or add a quarter of a cabbage (thinly sliced) to saute at the start.
If you find your soup needs salt or flavor at the end of cooking, use my secret ingredient: a splash of soy sauce.
You won’t detect the soy sauce flavor, but it seasons with salt while also adding umami flavor and naturally-occurring glutamates, which add richness to the beef taste.
You can also simmer it longer, uncovered, to concentrate the broth.
Bone-in meat (like a bone-in steak or short rib) is the most flavorful. Meat on the bone will deliver a more “melt-in-the-mouth” meaty experience, and then you can discard the bone at the end. Beef chuck roast is an inexpensive, excellent option for beef vegetable soup as well.
Salads that are light, like French or Greek salads, will compliment a hearty beef soup. Steer clear of rich and creamy salads as they will throw the experience off balance.
Pro Tips and Tricks
- To speed up this process, cook in a pressure cooker for 40 minutes on high pressure.
- You can cut the beef into small pieces at the beginning if you like; I prefer to handle the meat after it’s cooked.
- I like to add green peas if I’m serving the soup right away. If making it in advance, I leave them out because I don’t like the mushy-pea flavor.
- You can make this soup in a slow cooker if you have one. Set your Crockpot to 6 hours on high after you’ve seared the meat and sauteed the vegetables.
Other Soup Recipes You Won’t Want To Miss
Beef Vegetable Soup
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 1½ lbs beef chuck roast see substitutes below
- 1 ¾ tsp kosher salt divided use
- ¾ tsp black pepper divided use
- 2 cups diced onion
- 1 cup celery diced (about 2 medium stalks)
- 2 medium carrots peeled and diced
- 2 small zucchini diced
- 1 can 156 mL/5 1/2 oz or ⅔ cup tomato paste
- 1 litre/quart beef broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup frozen peas optional
- ¼ cup loosely packed minced parsley
- Heat dutch oven over medium-high heat for several minutes. Add 1 tbsp of the oil and when it’s shimmering hot, add the beef. Season it with ¾ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Let it brown undisturbed until it releases easily from the pan, about 4-6 min. Remove to a plate. Don't bother wiping out the dutch oven.
- Add remaining oil to the pot along with onion, carrots and celery. Season with 1 tsp more salt. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and let it cook until it turns a shade darker, about 2 minutes. Add broth and return beef to the pot. Add zucchini, ½ tsp black pepper and 2 cups of water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until beef is tender, about 2 hours.
- Taste and add more salt as needed (it will depend on how salty your broth was).
Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD