Saturday, November 15, 2008

Southern Vegetable Beef Soup

Good old fashioned vegetable beef soup made with beef bones and a beef and tomato base, with onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn and whatever leftover veggies you have on hand.

Southern Vegetable Beef Soup

Noticing that I had some sirloin tip steak in the freezer and deciding on making up a batch of vegetable beef soup today, sure reminded me of my Grandma.

She passed on a couple years back at the ripe age of 97 and boy she sure was a great cook. When I think of vegetable beef soup I think of her and how every time she'd cook up a batch she'd always say "you just can't find a good soup bone anymore." I remembered as a young gal not at all interested in cooking at the time, I thought, "you can buy bones at the grocery??" but I always just smiled.

She had not had an easy life, raising a slew of boys as a single working mother back in those days, but she was a sweetheart who was loved by many, all of whom called her affectionately, Miss Mac.  I was always honored to just sit with her and listen to her stories, whether it was over a simple cup of coffee, or because she had cooked a meal for the family.

She's right though ... you really can't hardly find a good soup bone anywhere these days.

Grandma Mac never had any recipes written down and I sure wish she had, because she had a killer chicken spaghetti - a homemade version made from a hen, and not the kind of cheesy chicken spaghetti most folks think about - a recipe I have done my best to replicate. Well, close as I could anyways. Anyway, this soup isn't quite Grandma Mac's exact recipe either, but it is close enough to bring back some mighty fond memories of her.

I wrote this recipe using a quick cooking sirloin beef steak. You may substitute any kind of stewing beef of course, but you'll need to allow the beef time to stew down and get tender before adding in potatoes or other leftover, frozen or canned veggies. Just saute the beef first, then the onion, celery and carrot, but omit the potatoes. Add in the beef stock, bones (if using) and seasonings, and allow the meat to slow simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until it is tender. Then add the potatoes plus any other frozen or canned veggies you're using, and allow the soup to cook for 20 minutes longer, or until the potatoes are tender.

Here's how to make it.

Recipe: Mary's Southern Vegetable Beef Soup

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 pounds of beef sirloin tip steak
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped potato
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama) or to taste, optional
  • 1 (32 ounce) plus 3/4 of another carton of beef broth or stock
  • 1 teaspoon of beef base (like Better than Bouillon), or can substitute regular bouillon
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound of beef bones, optional
  • 1/2 cup of frozen corn
  • Whatever leftover veggies you have
  • 1 tablespoon of dried parsley
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • 2 cups of dried egg noodles
Instructions

Put olive oil in a tall stockpot and bring to medium high temperature. Cut steak into thin strips and chop to bite size pieces. Add to oil and cook over medium high until nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Add onion, celery, carrots and potatoes and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook about an additional minute. Add the salt, pepper, beef stock, beef base, tomatoes and beef bones, if using; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Add the corn, cook and additional 5 minutes, then add any leftover veggies you wish to use. Add parsley and turn to low and allow to just stew until you are ready to eat. Cook the egg noodles separately, spoon cooked noodles into a serving bowl, and ladle the soup on top; add a pinch of shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Cook's Notes: Alternatively you may also add the noodles to the soup. They tend to absorb a great deal of the liquid however, so I personally prefer cooking them separately and serving the soup on top of them in individual serving bowls. If you use regular bouillon in place of beef base, adjust added salt in the recipe.

I use sirloin for a quicker cook time, but you can certainly substitute a stewing meat instead. Just allow for a longer cooking time before adding in your potatoes or vegetables. If you want to let the soup low simmer for awhile, wait to add the potatoes until about 20 minutes before serving. For an added layer of flavor, roast off the beef bones first. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the bones in oil and roast, turning about every 15 minutes, for about 40 to 45 minutes or until nicely browned. Take care not to burn the bones as they will make the stock bitter. Remove, transfer the bones and any drippings to the soup pot.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on November 15, 2008

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13 comments:

  1. Thanks a million, Mary! I've been watching my grandmother make her excellent Vegetable Beef Soup ever since I was knee-high. Eventually the day came when I could help her make it! Then one day I was on my own. No matter how hard I tried, it never turned out exactly like hers, but eventually I came pretty darned close!
    Your recipe comes the closest to duplicating my grandmother's soup as any I've ever seen in writing. The primary difference is that she always included 1/2 head of cabbage. And of course back in those days there was no such thing as buying "Cajun seasoning". She always included some kind of pasta, quite often shell macaroni. Unfortunatesly, she never wrote her recipe down, insisting that "everybody knows how to make a good vegetable soup!" That may have been true in those days, but certainly not now. And about that soup bone... back in the day, some butchers would toss in a soup bone for free if you bought stew meat. These days IF you can find one at all, the price is ridiculous! And some folks claim they don't even know what a soup bone is! How very sad...
    Thanks so much Mary, for both the great recipe and the memories!

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  2. Hi Michele! I STILL to this day struggle to equal my mama's seafood gumbo. I mean it's oil and flour and seafood for pete's sake but I sure cannot get mine to taste quite like hers did, so I totally get it. I buy my beef bones at the base commissary or at our local Rouse's which is one of the few "grocery stores" left that actually still has a real butcher! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the soup, and thanks so much for coming back to leave your sweet comment!!

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  3. Hi, Mary! Thank you so much for this posting! Both my mom & grandmother (who have been gone for years now) made the VERY BEST vegetable beef soup. Of course, they had never wrote down the recipe, nor did I ever pay much attention to their "method" when they made it. I do remember, though, that when we still had "real" grocery stores, the produce department manager would even make up a "soup mix" for them to use in their soup! Just the other day, I was thinking of this soup, remembering how wonderful it was, and wishing I could just taste it again. I have been studying your recipe and think it will come pretty close to theirs! My mouth is already watering!! I cannot thank you enough for this post...the timing could not have been better!
    Theresa

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    Replies
    1. Oh I hope it at least comes close Theresa - please let me know!

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  4. So thankful for your site first of all! So many wonderful recipes here that bring back memories of the 40's and 50's in Norfolk, Va. Our next door neighbor was a real southern lady who cooked wonderful soups, veggies, baked yeast rolls etc. Everything she cooked was delicious she shared with my family and we were always grateful. My parents came from the mid west. So their idea of seasoning food was salt, pepper,paprika, butter and parsley. So when we had the pleasure of tasting southern food it was amazing to our taste buds to say the least. When she brought over a bowl of her veggie soup it had such a richness to it. I loved the butter beans and corn she added to the soup along with other surprises. When I got married I copied my mom's way of cooking along with my next door neighbor's southern dishes. It has given us a nice variety of tasty foods to enjoy for many years. So happy I found this web site Mary.

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    1. What a wonderful compliment - thank you so much & welcome!!

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  5. Finally found some Slay Ya Mama seasoning at World Market in Amarillo Texas, I live in Colorado and I enjoy your recipes so much!! making the Vegetable Beef Soup so much...your black eyed peas were a big HIT on New Year's Day, we ate the whole pot!! :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh I'm so glad that you found it - just remember, go light until you see how you like it. We use it on everything - even eggs!! Glad your family enjoyed the black-eyed peas & thanks for letting me know - hope you enjoy the soup too!

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  6. this looks good in this cold weather right now! I'm going to try this in the crock pot!

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    1. Crockpots are great for soup & you can even use the stew meat cuts when you're letting it cook all day like that! Hope you enjoy it Judy!!

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  7. I'm going to try this in the crockpot with out the noodles.

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  8. Mary, I made this soup Friday & took it to my daughter's house to celebrate her birthday. I wasn't able to find "Slap Ya Momma" at the store but followed the recipe otherwise. It was delicious. Everyone including my picky 5 & 8 yr old grandchildren, son, & husband even ate a bowl after I encouraged them to try it. They asked for more & raved how good it was. I certainly will make this again as it is a fabulous recipe.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tricia! The Cajun seasoning is for those who like a little heat added, but totally optional. I'm so glad everybody enjoyed the soup - especially those picky eaters! Thank you so much for stopping bacl by to let me know - I really appreciate that!

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