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This vegetable beef soup is bright and flavorful, yet rich and comforting! Unlike many beef soups that tend to be heavy and hearty (which I think is still delicious too), this soup is surprisingly light.

And this quick and easy soup is incredibly versatile. You can swap out vegetables with what you have on hand. I put more information on specific ingredients in the notes section.

If you’re an avid meal prepper, like me, and have all the vegetables already chopped and ready to go, you could be serving this soup in less than 30 minutes!! 

Vegetable Beef Soup

Enjoy a bowl of this satisfying beef and vegetable soup along with a crusty bread!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 oz beef stew meat, Note 1
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1-2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, more to taste
  • 6 cups beef stock, Note 2
  • 1 medium roasted beet, cubed, Note 3
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage, Note 4
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Chop and prepare all the vegetables before you start cooking. (TIP: I do this as part of my meal prepping for the week. Some of the vegetables here are frozen.)
  • Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • When the oil is hot, add beef in one layer and sear on both sides until nicely seared. Transfer onto a clean plate.
  • Add remaining tablespoon of oil into now empty dutch oven and add shallots and garlic. Cook stirring frequently until aromatic, about a minute. Then add carrots and celery. Cook until softened, 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in potatoes and add salt. Then add beef stock and seared stew meat. Cover and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add roasted beet and cabbage. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Squeeze in lemon juice from half a lemon. (Lemon juice is the secret ingredient that instantly brightens the flavors.) Salt and pepper to taste and serve!

Notes

Note 1: You may use sirloin steak in place of stew meat. Or another alternative is to use cooked beef from homemade beef bone broth, in which case you don't need to sear the meat and simply add the cooked meat along with beet and cabbage. Our butcher added some soup bones with plenty of meat on the bone, which is a great addition to the soup. 
Note 2: I'm using homemade beef stock here. But sometimes I also use "Better Than Bullion" beef base and I highly recommend it!
Note 3: I freeze roasted beets all the time, because it's super convenient. But if you don't have roasted beets, you can totally use a raw beet. Just add it with potatoes.
Note 4: You can use any kind of cabbage. I like to use a combination of Napa cabbage and red cabbage.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 223kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 910mg, Potassium: 1035mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1779IU, Vitamin C: 28mg, Calcium: 64mg, Iron: 2mg
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Continue Reading for additional tips and serving suggestions.

What cut of beef to use for vegetable beef soup?

  • Beef stew meat is the most common cut for making vegetable beef soup. Make sure to cut it into smaller pieces.
  • Cheap lean steaks, like sirloin steak, are also a great option, especially if you don’t have lots of time for cooking.
  • And my personal favorite is the beef on soup bones, pressure cooked to make an amazing beef bone broth and I just reserve the cooked beef to add it to the soup.

What vegetables to use for vegetable beef broth:

You can literally use ANY vegetables on hand. This soup recipe is highly customizable and a perfect fridge clean-out dish!

My favorite vegetables are:

  • Carrots and celery are basically a base for pretty much any soup I make. I usually chop and freeze bunch as my weekly meal prep routine.
  • Potatoes make this soup so filling and satisfying!! This’s pretty much the only thing that I prepared for this soup right before cooking.
  • Cabbage – You can use any kind of cabbage here. I had Napa cabbage and red cabbage on hand (also shredded and frozen), so that’s what I used here. But regular green cabbage works just as great. One thing to note though: If you’re not adding beets, I don’t recommend using red cabbage, because the soup will turn out kind of weird blueish color. 🙂
  • Beet – I used roasted beet here in this soup, that’s why it’s added at the end. You can use raw beet, but add it with the potatoes, so it gets time to cook through.

Secret for the BEST vegetable beef soup:

So, as you can tell this soup is pretty basic. But the secret is in the very last ingredient: lemon juice!

As soon as you squeeze in some lemon juice, the flavors round up so perfectly and it’ll just make sense. If possible, please don’t skip this step!