Vegetable beef soup, hearty weeknight comfort food. Easy ground beef soup loaded with vegetables in a savory broth of beef stock, tomatoes and red wine.
When my mom was recuperating from hip replacement surgery several years ago, my aunt brought us some homemade soup. It was freezing outside in Chicago and we heated up the soup and I was in heaven. I kept saying, “Did she put wine in this? I think I taste wine, a lot of wine, do you? What’s in this soup, it’s so good?!?”.
Once again, like so many of the recipes in my drawer, I have a piece of a notepad that my mom jotted down how to make the soup, while she was on the phone with my aunt. And let me tell you, she jotted down the ingredients and a few instructions. But I have managed to make it many times, and it’s delicious, almost as good as my aunt Nancy’s.
What vegetables should I use in this soup?
I’m fond of hearty root veggies, like potatoes, carrots and parsnips. I also love cabbage and lots of onions. And green beans. Then add anything else you like, such as canned corn, lima beans or peas. The chopping of all the vegetables is the hardest part. But you gotta do it. And I’m of the opinion that more is better.
How to make vegetable beef soup
It’s easy once you’ve got all those veggies prepped and ready to go.
- Brown the ground beef, onions and garlic.
- Add tomatoes, beef broth and red wine. Then some seasonings and all the veggies.
- Stir well to combine it all, bring to a steady simmer, pop a lid on and simmer for about 1½ hours until veggies are tender and soup broth has fully developed.
If I use extra veggies, I add more beef broth, about 4 cups to start. When finished, if the soup seems too thick, add some chicken stock/broth to thin. My dad always used chicken stock in his sauces and gravies, even with beef or pork. He said adding more beef broth was too strong. My aunt is the same. So use beef broth to cook, and if needed, thin it with some chicken broth.
And a note about the red wine which contributes greatly to the flavor profile of the broth. Go easy on it. My mom says my aunt gave her some more of her soup and it tasted like pure wine and she couldn’t eat it and had to dump it. That’s what my mom said, rather dramatically. A cup of dry red wine is plenty.
Soups and stews and slow braises are what I crave this time of year, and this is one of my favorites. Try this soup, it will warm you up and put a smile on your face. Kelly 😋
Are you a soup lover? You might also want to try these bowls of comfort:
- Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup
- French Onion Soup
- Split Pea and Lentil
- Potato Leek Soup
- Sweet and Sour Beef Cabbage Soup
UPDATED: Originally posted in January, 2016, soon after I first started this blog. Recently updated in November, 2019, with spruced up copy and photos, and minor changes to original recipe.
Vegetable Beef Soup
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1½ pound ground beef I like ground sirloin
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup potatoes, peeled and cubed about 2 Yukon Gold
- 1 cup celery, sliced about 2 ribs
- 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced about 2 medium
- 1 cup parsnips, peeled and diced about 2 medium
- 1/2 head small green cabbage, roughly chopped in bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 3 cups beef broth or stock preferably unsalted
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 (29-ounce) cans whole tomatoes and their juices, crushed by hand I like San Marzanos
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: canned and drained corn, peas or lima beans, about ½ - ¾ cup each
- In a large dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add chopped onions, a pinch of salt, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 minute until fragrant and then add the ground beef. Break up beef with wooden spoon and cook until no longer pink.
- Add the tomatoes, beef broth and wine. Stir well and then add the parsley, basil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables: potatoes, celery, green beans, carrots, parsnips and cabbage (and any other optional veggies). Stir well to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are all tender and the soup broth has fully developed. Enjoy.
- When prepping the vegetables, cut them in uniform bite-size pieces.
- If soup seems too thick, thin it with some chicken stock.
- Depending on the fat content of the beef, if needed, skim any excess fat or foam that surfaces.
- If you have a small piece of rind from Parmesan cheese, add that to the pot (remove before serving). Absolutely delicious addition to soups and stews! Never throw out that rind.