A hearty Vegetable Beef Soup with melt-in-your-mouth slow cooked chunks of beef, potato and vegetables simmered in a herb infused savoury broth. You’ll love how the broth of this beef soup recipe is slightly thickened so it’s like gravy and has extra flavour from a secret ingredient!
Vegetable Beef Soup
So many beef soups are watery and dull. Not this one!!! The thing that sets this beef soup recipe apart from the rest is the broth. It’s slightly thickened so it’s more like a thinnish gravy. It’s infused with herb flavour and also gets an extra depth of flavour from the secret ingredient: red wine. Or beer or stout. (They’re all good)
It’s not about boozing up our soup! It’s about adding complexity and character to the soup broth flavour without simmering for hours up hours like we do with Beef Stew and Pot Roast.
Without the wine, the broth still tastes very, very good.
With the wine, it’s stellar! (And in care you’re concerned, the alcohol gets cooked out, just leaving behind flavour.)
This Beef Soup is like beef stew in soup form – except faster to make!
What goes in Vegetable Beef Soup
Here’s what you need.
Stewing beef – anything economical, in small bite size pieces (remember, we’re making a soup here, not a stew)
Red wine, stout or guinness – all of these work great here. Red wine gives it a classic beef stew flavour, Guinness or stout will give the soup a more intense, deep flavour like Irish Guinness Stew. I use wine most frequently because I always have some on hand, and because I prefer not to just use part of a can of beer that I wouldn’t choose to drink!
How to make Beef Soup
The key step here is to brown the beef well – aggressively is the term that I use. This adds a ton of flavour to the beef itself and the broth, from the brown bits on the bottom of the pot that dissolves into the broth.
I like to sauté the mushrooms in butter and add them towards the end – but this is optional. Because golden brown buttery mushrooms vs mushrooms just simmered in the broth? There is no contest! (But really, it is optional 🙂 )
Fall-apart slow cooked beef!
I promised you fall-apart beef, and fall apart beef you shall get. And you will see just how tender the beef is in the recipe video below using the most ridiculous method – chopsticks of all things!!
I know, I know, it’s soooo Asian.
But right at that moment while I was filming, it was the first thought that came to me as the easiest way to show it on camera! 😂 I mean, how else can I pry a piece of beef apart using one hand??
What Beef Soup goes with
There’s a ton of veggies in this soup, and you could add even more into the soup. Green beans would be ideal, but they were extortionately overpriced on the day I shot this and I just couldn’t do it.
So it’s an ideal meal-in-a bowl that doesn’t need anything more. But I’m pretty sure no one would say no to a side of quick Cheesy Garlic Bread!!! Or try one of these soup dunkers:
Also, this soup just gets better with time and freezes 100% perfectly. So make a double batch! ~ Nagi x
Watch how to make it
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Vegetable Beef Soup (Fall apart beef!)
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil , separated
- 500g/1 lb stewing beef , cut into 1.75cm / 2/3" cubes (Note 1)
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
- 1 onion , chopped
- 3 garlic , minced (1 tbsp)
- 2 celery , cut into 0.8 cm / 1/3" slices
- 3 carrots , cut into 0.5 cm / 1/5" thick slices (halve larger ones)
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 1/2 cups (625ml) beef broth/stock , low sodium
- 1 1/2 cups (375ml) dry red wine, Guinness beer or stout (Note 2)
- 1.5 cups (375ml) water
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp thyme dried
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 potatoes (any), cut into 1.5cm / 2/3" cubes
Buttery mushrooms (optional):
- 1 tbsp (15g) butter or oil
- 200g/ 6oz small mushrooms , quartered or halved
- Heat 1 tbsp oil until very hot in a large, heavy based pot over high heat.
- Pat beef dry with paper towels, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Brown beef aggressively in 2 or 3 batches, adding more oil if needed. Remove browned beef into a bowl.
- If pot looks dry, add a touch more oil.
- Add garlic and onion, cook for 2 minutes.
- Add carrot and celery, cook for 2 minutes or until onion is translucent.
- Stir in flour, then slowly pour in beef broth while constantly stirring.
- Add beer, water, tomato paste, bay leaves and thyme, stir well. Then add the beef back in.
- Cover, adjust heat to medium low so it's bubbling gently. Simmer 1 hr 15 min or until beef is pretty tender.
- Add potatoes and peas, simmer for a further 20 minutes without the lid. Add cooked mushrooms in the last 5 minutes.
- The soup is ready when the potatoes are cooked and beef is very tender (see video).
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper in this!).
- Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with crusty bread if desired. Try quick Cheesy Garlic Bread or super easy Irish Soda Bread!
Buttery Mushrooms (optional):
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until browned. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Red wine - any dry, full bodied red wine. Cab Sauv and Merlots are ideal.
- Guinness Beer and Stout are dark beers, labelled as such on the cans. You should find these at most liquor stores. Use some, drink some - or tip the whole can in an simmer for longer with the lid off!
- Non alcoholic sub - add 400g/14 oz can of crushed tomato, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce. This will add alternative flavour to compensate.
Originally published May 2019. Updated for housekeeping matters March 2020, no change to recipe.
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