|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 SoupNoticing 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
- 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
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.
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