This Old Fashioned Vegetable Beef Soup recipe can’t be beat for its incredible flavor. Full of tender chunks of beef, pasta, and loaded with vegetables, all swimming in a rich beef broth, it’s a hearty, easy dinner for two or a crowd.
This homemade vegetable beef soup recipe has been in my family for years. My mom was a fantastic cook & baker but my dad was excellent in his own right and liked to share kitchen time with her. He loved making breads, coffee cakes, and any kind of soup. And I can tell you, when the weather dipped into the single digits and there was feet of snow on the ground, his soups were the highlight of our day.
This easy Vegetable Beef Soup made with beef soup bones was one of his all-time favorites but his Split Pea Soup and Turkey Soup were just as incredible. I actually had to ask my sister for this recipe again, although I have been making it from memory for years, just because I wanted to have it just right to bring to you.
Interestingly enough, she told me the recipe was written on some letterhead from his insurance company and written in story form. No list of ingredients, just a story from start to finish. Yep, that was my dad, an excellent and totally entrancing storyteller, and short story writer. I miss him so much but this soup always brings a smile to my face just thinking of him!
FAQs About Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup
I like to use beef rump roast for its flavor and because it becomes so tender. However, you can also use stew meat or even ground beef.
You don't want to rush the cooking process or the beef will be tough and chewy. For the best results, cook the stew low and slow, for at least two hours.
You can add the vegetables in when you're simmering the meat but they will get very soft. I like mine slightly more crisp so I always wait to add until later.
Of course. You can opt to add potatoes instead of pasta. Add the potatoes when you add the vegetables to give them enough time to soften. You can also leave a starch out altogether.
Ingredients for Vegetable Beef Soup
Beef Marrow Bones - These bones are easy to find in your grocer's meat department. They add a decided richness to the broth as well as the additional benefits associated with bone broth such as supporting the immune system, aiding in bone strength and providing additional collagen.
Beef - I use a rump roast for its tenderness and flavor but you can also use stew meat or try ground beef for a Ground Beef Vegetable Soup.
Pasta - I like to keep it small and use alphabet noodles but you can replace this with your favorite small pasta such as pastina or small elbow macaroni, or use rice. For more variety try substituting barley for a Beef Barley Vegetable Soup.
Beef Soup Vegetables - Almost anything goes here. You can add carrots, celery, onion, diced tomatoes, yellow potatoes, green beans, frozen corn, frozen peas, or even frozen mixed vegetables. Replace some of the veggies with chopped cabbage and leeks for a real change of pace.
Stewed Tomatoes - Some vegetable soups are made without tomatoes, although I think the addition of tomatoes makes this soup richer. If a bit of chunky tomato isn't your thing in soup, try substituting tomato juice or V8 or omit altogether and replace with more beef broth, water, or even wine.
Beef Broth - is a great base for soups and provides flavor. Beef stock can also be used.
Seasonings - can be added to give this soup more of a flavor boost. Try adding basil, oregano, thyme, or some Italian Seasoning.
How to Make Vegetable Soup with Beef
- First, to get a rich broth that will absolutely make the soup, brown the cubed beef in a hot stock pot. Adding a little water as it browns and scraping bits off bottom for more flavor. Remove beef from stockpot.
- Saute onion and garlic in a small amount of olive oil.
- Place meat back in stockpot along with beef marrow bones.
- Pour chopped stewed tomatoes over the top.
- Add beef stock.
- Top with enough water to cover the meat. Simmer for 1-2 hours. The longer you simmer, the richer it will get.
- Add vegetables. I add carrots, celery, parsnips, peas and parsley but you can add in your favorites as well.
- Simmer for another hour. (You can also add potatoes in lieu of the pasta at this point)
- Add pasta, i.e. pastina, alphabet noodles, orzo or any small pasta.
- Just cook until pasta is done, according to package instructions.
If you can find the alphabet noodles, they're a great incentive to get small children to eat the soup. My sister and I used to have so much fun when we were young spelling words out in our soup. Of course, that never lasted long since the soup was so delicious it got slurped down pretty fast. I mean, just look at that ladle of deliciousness!
You won't believe the enticing aroma that fills the house. In fact, my husband came home from work the day I was making this and the first thing he said was "I can't wait to have some of whatever you're cooking, it smells incredible!" (think there wasn't a huge smile on my face after that). I usually serve this Old Fashioned Vegetable Beef Soup with a side of crackers or my freshly baked French bread. It really is the perfect lunch or dinner to warm you up on a cold winter's day. Enjoy!
Gluten-Free - substitute gluten-free pasta for the regular pasta and make sure that your beef stock is labeled gluten-free.
Keto/Low Carb - omit the pasta, carrots, and parsnips and add other favorite vegetables such as riced cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and spinach.
Paleo - substitute riced cauliflower for the pasta
How to Make Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup
Follow steps 1-4 as noted in directions then add remaining ingredients except for peas, substitute potatoes for pasta, cover, and cook on low for 8 hours.
Make Instant Pot Vegetable Beef Soup
Follow steps 1-4 as noted in directions but on the saute setting for Instant Pot. Add remaining ingredients except for peas and pasta, cover, and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Allow a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes then vent to release the remaining pressure. Set to saute and add frozen peas and small pasta and cook until tender.
Soups You Can Enjoy Any Time of Year
Seafood Gumbo - is a flavorful and easy seafood gumbo that is all about shellfish, andouille, okra, chicken and spice.
Blender Tomato Basil Soup - takes just 5 minutes prep to create and results in a creamy and rich soup with flavors of onion, garlic and basil.
Cheeseburger Soup from Dancing Through The Rain is rich and filling and full of cheesy goodness.
Creamy Corn Chowder - is a healthy soup of chicken, corn and vegetables nestled in a thick creamy base that you'll think is full of calories but it's not!
Find more soup recipes right here on 2CM!
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Old Fashioned Vegetable Beef Soup
- 2 lbs. rump roast, cubed
- 4 beef marrow soup bones (optional)
- 30 oz can stewed tomatoes, cut up
- 32 oz. beef broth
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 5-6 stalks celery, chopped
- 5-6 carrots, chopped
- 1-2 medium parsnips, chopped
- 10 oz. pkg. frozen peas
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ½-3/4 cup small pasta, such as alphabet noodles, pastina or orzo
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add meat and sear to a nice brown, add a little water and scrape bits off bottom, let brown slightly and pour off browned broth into a bowl. Turn meat and sear each side, adding water and pouring off browned broth as you go. This broth is rich and adds a nice depth to the soup but is also totally optional.
- Remove meat from stock pot.
- Add a slight bit of olive oil to the bottom of the pot and sauté onion for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.
- Add meat back into stock pot with onions.
- Add bone marrow soup bones, beef broth, stewed tomatoes and enough water to cover beef.
- Bring to boil, lower heat and let simmer, uncovered, on stove for 1-2 hours.
- Add vegetables and seasoning and continue to simmer for another hour.
- Add alphabet noodles and cook for 15 minutes or as directed on package. (pastina can also be substituted and cuts the cooking time to about 6 minutes)
- Serve hot with a side of warm bread or crackers.
This post has been updated with new photos and more information. It was originally published on January 7, 2018.