When the weather gets chilly, there is nothing better to me than a bowl of vegetable beef soup. It seems a lot of folks don't make vegetable soup with nice chunks of beef anymore. So much of it is made with ground beef, chicken, smoked sausage or even no meat at all and just vegetables. Those variations are all good and I have made them all myself at times, but they just don't compare to a good hearty and beefy vegetable soup with tender chunks of beef.
This soup takes some time to prepare, so it's not one of those that you can throw together when you come home from work more than likely. It's a soup you need to make on the weekend or your day off, because the meat needs time to hang out and simmer for a few hours and then the vegetables have to have time to cook and the flavor time to blend. This is a soup that gets better the next day also and it makes a lot. Here is what you will need:
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. beef stew meat, round steak or sirloin, cubed
1 large onion, diced
vegetable oil for browning meat
1 large can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
4 cups V-8 vegetable juice (I use the hot n spicy type)
4 beef bouillon cubes or a can of beef broth
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. black pepper (less if you don't care for much pepper)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
3-4 medium size potatoes, peeled and diced
1 bag frozen vegetables for vegetable soup
1 cup frozen corn niblets
1 cup frozen baby lima beans
1 cup sliced carrots
1 can green beans, drained
1 cup sliced okra (if you use vegetable soup mixed vegetables it has okra in it, you can leave this out, but it acts to thicken the soup nicely)
6 cups water
Heat the oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the cubed beef and brown on all sides.
and sauté a little until slightly softened.
Add the can of tomatoes, V-8 juice, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, seasoned salt, beef bouillon or broth, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to a low simmer, cover and let simmer for about 2 hours. After the 2 hours, add the rest of the vegetables and the water and bring back to a boil, turn down to a low simmer and simmer for 1 hour. Taste for seasoning, you might need just a tad more salt depending on your tastes.
This is so good served with Cornbread Hoe Cakes!