While cleaning out my fridge on Sunday, I also pulled out all of the vegetables from the crisper drawer that I could use in a good old-fashioned beef vegetable soup. I picked up my last summer CSA on Friday and Tuesday starts my winter CSA so I needed to use up as many veggies as possible before Tuesday. It was an overcast grey looking day, not too chilly, but the high was only in the upper 50’s, perfect day for a pot of soup!
Vegetable Beef Soup
1 lb Beef Cubes, Cut into Bite Size Pieces
8 oz. Mushrooms, Cleaned and Sliced
4 Carrots, Peeled and Sliced
3 Stalks Celery, Cleaned and Diced
3 Onions, Peeled and Diced
2 Leeks, Cleaned and Sliced
3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled and Minced
1 28oz Can of Diced Tomatoes
1 T Tomato Paste
32 oz. Beef Stock
2 Bay Leaves
4 Potatoes, Peeled and Diced
2 Zucchini, Diced
1/2 Bag of Frozen Peas
I started by heating olive oil in pot. I let it get nice and hot, then added the sliced mushrooms. I start with the mushrooms because the pan doesn’t have any added salt yet and salt pulls the water from the mushrooms before they have a chance to get nice and brown. Once they brown, I pull them out and brown the beef. I season the beef with a small amount of salt and pepper. Put the beef aside with the mushrooms. Lower the heat to medium low and add the onions, carrots, leeks, and celery. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
Once the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes add the tomato paste and garlic, cook 1 minute. Return the beef and mushrooms to the pan and add the can of tomatoes with the juice and scrape up any fonds from the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat to high, add beef stock. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer. Add thyme and bay leaves – I just take the thyme stems, tie them up in some butcher twine and add it to my pot. The leaves fall off and you can fish out the stems.
Cover the pot and let it cook for 1 hour. After an hour add the zucchini, peas and potatoes. Cook for an additional 2 hours.
The beef is so tender after being cooked for 3 hours, it will melt in your mouth. The tomato paste gives the soup a real depth of flavor and the potatoes thicken the soup slightly. All in all a really good pot of soup for a chilly fall day!