There is nothing more perfect on a cold winter day than a big bowl of hot Vegetable Beef Soup.
Are you curious what makes this Vegetable Beef Soup Southern Style? The addition of one particular vegetable makes it special and makes it southern. In case you’re not a fan – just hear me out.
Secret #1 for perfect Vegetable Beef Soup
Okra makes a world of difference and I would never make vegetable beef soup without it. When I was a young girl, a friend’s mother told me that you just couldn’t make good vegetable soup without okra. She said it gave the broth “body”.
Because there are a lot of people who don’t love okra I’ve learned over the years to disguise it, and still get that “body” in the broth of the soup. Here’s how. Just cook it a little longer until it practically falls apart. No one will realize it’s there, but it can still work it’s magic.
Now, if you love okra, you’re thinking what a shame to cook the okra until you don’t know it’s there. I agree with that. My personal preference is to cook it until it’s done and no more, but this secret will work if you got non-okra-lovers in your midst.
If you’re a soup lover like we are you’ll want to check out our Black Bean Soup with Ham, and easy She-Crab Soup. Italian Sausage Soup is a twist on a vegetable soup and we’ve given it a couple of fun southern twists.
Secret #2 for perfect Vegetable Beef Soup
If at all possible use homemade beef stock. It beats anything from a can or carton like a drum. And, it’s a great way to use up beef bones and trimmings that would otherwise get thrown away. We wrote a post a while back that gives detailed instructions on how to make beef stock. Be sure to check that out.
If you don’t have time for making stock you can make a really good soup anyway, but do be sure to buy stock instead of broth. Do you know what the difference is between the two? Our previous post explains.
This soup is so versatile
One of the great things about making this soup is that you can use up bits of whatever vegetables you have on hand. There are certain vegetables that I always use, like the okra I mentioned above. My typical pot of soup will have a combination of fresh, frozen and canned, but these are interchangeable, according to what you have.
I always use these vegetables in my soup:
- tomatoes (the recipe calls for canned, but if you have fresh available even better)
- okra (I usually have a bag in the freezer, but again, if you have fresh that’s awesome)
- potatoes give the soup some staying power in your belly
I typically use these vegetables in my soup also:
- lima beans
- green beans
Other vegetables that would be good to add to soup:
- collard greens or kale
- peas of any kind you like
If you love southern traditions like using bits and pieces to make a wonderful dish you’ll want to read Southern Food Then and Now.
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Easy tips for making the best vegetable beef soup ever!
- Cooking time for the beef will depend on the size of the beef pieces. If running short of time, the beef can be cut in pretty small pieces and they’ll cook more quickly
- Add the vegetables in order of how long it takes to cook them so the more tender vegetables don’t get overcooked (except in the case of the hidden okra – see above)
- The amount of stock is approximate. If needed you can add more, but if you run out and the vegetables aren’t quite covered, add a little water. It’s still a rich soup, and will be delicious
Serve it with a delicious bread like Skillet Focaccia Bread. You’re not going to believe how quick and easy it is and your house will smell fabulous! Another great bread option is Asiago Cheese & Black Pepper Biscuits.
This recipe made our top 10 of 2018. Click over here to see them all.
Southern Style Vegetable Beef Soup
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2-3/4 pound stew beef, cut into bite sized pieces
- 32-48 ounces beef stock
- 3/4 cup carrots, sliced
- 1 cup okra, sliced
- 3/4 cup baby lima beans
- 28 ounce canned tomatoes
- 3/4 cup corn, frozen fresh or canned are good too
- 1 cup potatoes, diced
- 8 ounce canned green beans
- 1 Tablespoon salt (or to taste)
- Brown onion in oil over medium heat until soft and translucent, and then set aside.
- Brown beef in the same pot and then add beef stock to cover beef.
- Cover and and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover.
- Simmer until beef is tender approximately two hours (but can vary according to the size of the beef pieces).
- Add carrots and okra and more stock to cover. Bring back to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
- Add onions, lima beans and tomatoes and more stock if needed. Cook additional 10-12 minutes.
- Add corn, potatoes and green beans, and more stock if needed. Cook until potatoes are tender.
- Taste for saltiness and add salt if needed.
If you enjoyed this recipe check these out too. You’ll find something else you love.
See y’all next time!