This vegetable beef soup has savory tender beef chunks simmered in a rich sauce that uses a secret ingredient to help build the deep flavors in this soup recipe.
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Vegetable Beef Soup
This is not your dull soup. Add beefy flavor without spending all day. It is full-flavor with rich complex flavors that are easy to achieve. Enjoy a soup that tastes like you spent all day. The secret ingredient that adds that extra deep flavor is dry red wine. I used Merlot wine today; however, any dry red wine would work well in this recipe.
A dark beer would work well in this recipe too. The Guinness or Stout will provide for a deeper and more intense flavored soup.
As the soup cooks, the alcohol in the wine cooks off. Therefore, you are left with just the intense savory essence of the wine. When paired with the beef broth, herbs, and vegetables, you have a delicious, hearty soup.
Why Add A Bay Leaf in Soup?
Bay leaves add a slightly sweet note to the broth. The mild flavor addition is in the background; however, it has the ability to enhance bolder flavors. If you want to learn even more about bay leaves, America’s Test Kitchen has a great article on this topic.
How to Make the Beef Soup Recipe
Brown the beef. It is key to a great soup as this will add a ton of flavor from the fond that is left in the pan. As the soup is cooked, the browned bits will be incorporated into the sauce.
What is Fond?
Fond is a term that refers to the browned bits that are left in the pan from caramelizing meat and vegetables. The bits that are stuck to the bottom after sauteing and roasting add flavor to recipes. Often, the container is deglazed with a liquid and the fond is incorporated into the recipe for intensifying flavor profiles.
Be sure not to overcrowd the kettle when browning the beef. If there is too much beef in the kettle, the meat will steam rather than brown. Therefore, I cook the beef in 4 or 5 batches. Make sure to salt and pepper each batch.
Browning the Onions and Garlic. This will help get the fond off the bottom of the kettle. It takes just a few minutes.
Adding Flour to the recipe. By stirring the flour with the onions and garlic mixture in the kettle helps cook the flour a bit and remove the raw taste. Additionally, the flour will help thicken the soup for a great mouth feel when the recipe is complete.
Wine or Stout. As we have already discussed, the addition of this helps deepen the flavors and the alcohol is cooked out.
Adding Bay Leaves. I use dried bay leaves, just drop them in the broth and remember to remove them before serving.
Vegetable Options. There are so many vegetables you can use in this soup. I have used frozen and fresh broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, corn, green beans, tomatoes, pearl onions, and carrots. However, more traditional vegetables can be used such as potatoes, celery, carrots, and peas. I would add the peas near the last 15 minutes of cooking, so they do not get overcooked and mushy.
Vegetable Options for Soup
This recipe lends itself well to many vegetables. I just add about 4 cups of veggies and I gauge when I add them based on how soft they could get. Potatoes and carrots hold up better, so I would add them before softer vegetables such as peas and zucchini. Go ahead and get creative.
This soup will be even better the next day. It will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to five days.
Make this soup in the slow cooker
Just brown the beef separately and add too the slow cooker. In the same pan you browned the beef, add the flour, and whisk while cooking a minute or two.
Then add a cup of the beef broth continuing to whisk getting all the fond off the bottom and sides of the pan. Once that is mostly off, add this to the slow cooker.
Continue the with the rest of the recipe adding the onion, garlic, wine, the rest of the beef broth, and the bay leaf. Cook on high 3 hours until the beef is fork tender. Add the vegetables, soy sauce, soup base, and pasta the last 30-45 minutes of cooking. If using low on the slow cooker increase the cooking time to 5-6 hours.
Vegetable Beef Soup “Tender Beef”
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Pounds Beef Stew Meat cut in bite-sized pieces
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Pepper
- 1 Large Onion Diced
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Minced
- ¾ Cup Flour
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 ½ Cups Merlot Wine or other dry red wine or Stout
- 6 Cups Beef Broth
- 4 Cups Mixed Vegetables
- 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Beef Soup Base
- 1 Cup Dried Pasta If you add potatoes, I would skip the pasta
- In a large, heavy based kettle add the olive oil. Add the beef in batches to not overcrowd the kettle. Salt and pepper each batch. Cook each batch until browned adding more oil between each batch if needed. Set the browned beef aside.
- Add a bit more olive oil if needed and add the garlic and onion cook a few minutes until translucent.
- Add the flour and cook a minute stirring to incorporate with the oils in the pan. Then pour in 2 cups of the beef broth stirring constantly to incorporate the flour with the liquid.
- Then add four more cups of the beef broth, the wine, the cooked beef and the 2 bay leaves. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the beef is almost fork tender.
- Add in the mixed vegetables, soy sauce, beef soup base, and pasta. Continue to cook another 20-30 minutes until the vegetables and pasta are cooked. (note if adding potatoes, I would skip the pasta as there would be enough starch in this soup).
- Remove the 2 bay leaves.
- Taste the broth, adjust the salt and pepper and soup base as needed.
- Serve. This is great with a crusty bread, oyster crackers, or as is.
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I hope that you liked this recipe. If you are looking for more ideas on what to make, here are a few other recipes that you may enjoy.