Vegetable Beef Soup – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Vegetable Beef Soup is a deeply savory, rich, thick soup, complete with tender ground beef, loads of colorful veggies, and the most delicious broth!

This is the perfect soup recipe to make with leftover, lingering veggies in the fridge. It’s hearty and filling–especially with some warm crusty bread for dipping! This soup is also a great candidate for making ahead of time–it only gets more flavorful as it sits! It reheats well and freezes great.

Try some of our other favorite beef vegetable soup recipes like this Crockpot Beef Stew, Instant Pot Beef Stew, or Beef and Barley Soup.

Overhead image of the Vegetable Beef Soup

Graphics for

Try out this Vegetable Beef Soup recipe, which is part of our collection of favorite soup recipes. Click here to see all the recipes in the collection.

A Thick Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe

Soup can be a great meal to make on a budget since it’s typically inexpensive to make while being very filling. Essentially, the broth “stretches” the ingredients. That, and veggies add lots of volume (and satiating power) while being relatively inexpensive.

What typically costs the most in a soup recipe is the meat. And getting a good cut of beef can be very spendy! Which is why I wanted to create a more budget-friendly beef soup recipe without sacrificing flavor.

Yes, ground beef will never compare to a good marbled chuck roast or short ribs, but I think you’ll be amazed how much richness and flavor you can get with ground beef in this soup recipe. And at a fraction of the cost!

Process shots of Vegetable Beef Soup-- images of the veggies and beef being added to the pot

What Veggies Go With Beef Soup?

  • Onion, celery, and carrots. This combo of veggies is the “secret” to sweetening and deepening the flavors of this soup, specifically, as well as many other dishes. They play an important role in creating the flavor base.
  • Tomatoes. Crushed tomatoes (as well as tomato paste) make for a beautiful pairing with beef. Their acidity lends a contrasting bright note to the richness of the beef.
  • Potatoes. Not only do potatoes help thicken the stew, they also take on the deep, rich surrounding flavors.
  • Frozen veggies like peas and corn. These veggies add a pop of sweetness and lovely color to Vegetable Beef Soup.

QUICK TIP

There are lots of veggies that don’t traditionally go with beef soup, but would work well in this recipe. Think sweet potatoes, turnips, cabbage, spinach, green beans, or hearty squashes.

Process shots-- images of the garlic, paprika, tomato paste, flour, and crushed tomatoes being added to a pot

Speaking of veggies that pair well with beef, it’s important to stagger when vegetables are added to the soup since not all veggies cook at the same rate.

What Order Do You Put Vegetables In Soup?

  1. Start with aromatics of onions, celery, and carrots which (as mentioned earlier) will create the flavor base.
  2. Next, add in tomatoes. A quick sauté (contact with heat) is going to bring out more of their natural sweetness. After the tomatoes are in, broth can go in too.
  3. The next type of vegetables to add in along with the broth are root vegetables like potatoes or hearty root vegetables, since they take longer to get tender.
  4. The last addition to soup is the frozen vegetables. Most frozen vegetables don’t need to be in the soup too long–they thaw and cook through quickly in the heat of the broth.

Process shots of Vegetable Beef Soup-- images of the beef broth, potatoes, thyme, and bay leaves being added to a pot

The full recipe card below details how to make this soup. Here are our top tips:

How To Make Vegetable Beef Soup

  • Take time to sauté the tomato paste until it darkens. Even though it seems a little strange since it’s all very dry, we’re unlocking loads of flavor by taking the time to sauté the paste and aromatics before adding in the liquid.
  • Stir frequently. This soup is thickened with flour, and we don’t want that ending up on the bottom of the pot! Scrape the bottom of the pot and stir well to ensure it is nicely incorporated.
  • Use fire-roasted crushed tomatoes. The tomatoes make a big difference flavor-wise, so I recommend good-quality fire-roasted tomatoes (such as Cento Marzano®, Carmelina Marzano Italian®, or Muir Glen®). This type of tomato is charred over a flame before being crushed and canned. Contact with the flame brings out the tomato’s sweetness and gives a distinct, smoky flavor. You get more flavor without any extra work!

Process shots-- images of the dish simmering and then corn and peas being added to the pot

Vegetable Beef Soup FAQs

1How do you thicken Vegetable Beef Soup?

Add flour!

The flour will nicely thicken this soup along with the starch from the potatoes. Simmering the soup until the potatoes are tender also thickens the soup.

2How do you add richness to soup?

The following will all contribute to making this soup recipe taste deeply rich and flavorful:

  • Use a good full-bodied beef broth or stock.
  • Take the time to sauté the aromatics and the tomato paste.e
  • Use ground beef chuck (which has more fat) instead of a leaner ground beef.
  • Add in Worcestershire sauce – it offers a great umami (savory) flavor to this Vegetable Beef Soup recipe.

3What can I add to vegetable soup for more flavor?

If you’ve finished making a vegetable soup and are looking to add more “umph,” try the following:

  • Key for seasoning– the fix may be as easy as adding in extra salt and/or pepper.
  • Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for some spicy flavor.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs.
  • Swim for longer to give the flavors a chance to develop better.

4How do I make beef soup taste better?

Two things will ensure a better beef soup:

  • Season as you go. Instead of leaving the seasoning for the end, season the veggies as they are sautéed, then season the beef, then season the broth (as needed). Adding seasoning as you cook will result in a more nuanced and deeper flavor.
  • Sear the beef. Give the beef a chance to sear for a little before crumbling. This helps the meat develop color and flavor, adding complexity to the soup.

STORAGE

Vegetable Beef Soup Storage

Refrigerate leftovers in a covered container, up to two 5 days. Leftovers only get more flavorful! Reheat gently on the stovetop adding a splash more beef broth if desired to thin.

Freeze completely cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to two 3 months, noting that frozen and thawed potatoes may end up a bit mushy. (More details in this freezing soup guide!)

What To Serve With Beef Vegetable Soup

The great thing about this Beef Vegetable Soup recipe is that it’s a full meal all in one bowl. It’s got meat, plenty of veggies, and a rich broth. So, if you’re going to serve something alongside, keep it simple! Below are a few recommendations.

More Hearty Soup Recipes:

Vegetable Beef Soup

Vegetable Beef Soup is a deeply savory, rich, and thick soup, complete with tender ground beef, loads of colorful veggies, and the most delicious broth!

Vegetable Beef Soup

Vegetable Beef Soup is a deeply savory, rich, and thick soup, complete with tender ground beef, loads of colorful veggies, and the most delicious broth!

Instructions

  • VEGGIES AND BEEF: Heat a very large, heavy-bottomed pot to medium-high heat and add 2 tbsp oil. Once hot, add in the onion, celery, and carrot. Season (I add 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper) and sauté until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Press veggies to edges of pan. Add beef to the center. Season beef to taste (I add another 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper) Let sear and then crumble until browned, integrating with veggies as you cook the beef.

  • TOMATO PASTE: Once browned through, add in garlic, tomato paste, beef broth, and paprika. Sauté, stirring constantly, until very fragrant and tomato paste begins to slightly darken, about 2-3 minutes.

  • FLOUR AND BEEF BROTH: Sprinkle flour on top and mix through. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add in the crushed tomatoes (careful– they’ll sputter up!), and sauté for 1 more minute. While stirring constantly, gradually pour in the beef broth. Scrape the bottom of the pan really well and continue to pour in beef broth until it’s all been added. Add dried thyme, Worcestershire sauce, potatoes, and bay leaves. Stir through. Increase heat to high, bringing soup to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover with lid, and cook 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender (easily pierced with a fork). Stir every 4-5 minutes, taking the time to really scrape the bottom of the pot to keep the base from catching. Promptly return lid after staring.

  • FINISH SOUP: Once the potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened nicely, add the peas and corn. Stir just to warm through. Taste and adjust seasonings to personal preference. Remove bay leaves and discard. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh herbs, if using. Dip in some crusty bread and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Tomatoes: The tomatoes make a big difference flavor-wise, so I recommend good-quality fire-roasted tomatoes (such as Cento Marzano®, Carmelina Marzano Italian®, or Muir Glen®). Fire-roasted tomatoes are charred over a flame before being crushed and canned. Contact with the flame brings out the tomato’s sweetness and gives a distinct, smoky flavor. You get more flavor without any extra work! If using cheaper other tomatoes, you may need to add 1-2 teaspoons of sugar at the end to counteract the acidity.
Nutrition information is calculated with 80/20 ground beef chuck. If you use a different blend of ground beef, like 90/10, the nutrition information will be different.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 20g | Dish: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 896mg | Potassium: 1068mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 5805IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 4mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

Leave a Comment