My version is not only clean and lean, but a meal in itself.
There are times when I do make a vegetarian version of this, and the switch is ultra easy to make. So if you want to prepare this for a Meatless Monday meal, or just prefer Vegetarian style, it only requires you to switch out a few ingredients.
Also, don’t be frightened off by the large ingredient list. Most of these are staples that are in my house 99% of the time. You probably have most of it on hand already!
In the Winter, don’t be afraid to use frozen vegetables. Most are flash frozen at their peak, preserving their nutrition for your convenience. I make heavy use of them in this recipe, but feel free to switch them out for fresh if you prefer.
My Vegetable Beef (or “Beef”) Soup recipe is easy, clean, low calorie, and perfect as a warming meal on a cold evening.
– 1 lb of extra (96%) lean ground beef / VEG OPTION: 1 medium sized bag of ground meatless crumbles
– 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
– 1 cup of frozen corn kernels
– 1 cup of frozen peas
– 2 cups frozen green beans
– 1 and 1/2 cups of carrots, sliced into coins
– 3 or 4 large stalks of celery, sliced
– 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
– 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (DO NOT DRAIN)
– 1 14.5 oz can of diced fire roasted tomatoes (DO NOT DRAIN)
– 2 bay leaves
– 1/2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tsp smoked paprika
– 1 tsp dried sage
– 1 tbsp dried thyme
– 1/2 tbsp parsley
– 2 cups beef broth / VEG OPTION: 2 cups vegetable broth
– 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce / VEG OPTION: leave this out. Substitute liquid hickory smoke + 1/2 tsp salt, if desired)
– extra salt & ground black pepper, to taste
1. Mist olive oil evenly into the bottom of a large soup pot. Add onion, beef (or meatless crumbles), and garlic.
2. When beef is mostly browned, add carrots and celery. If using crumbles, add carrots and celery in the first step. Cook until carrots and celery are beginning to get tender.
3. Add all tomatoes and broth to soup pot. Stir frequently and bring to simmer.
4. Add all remaining vegetables, paprika, sage, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir frequently while bringing back to a simmer.
5. Add bay leaf and parsley. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Check on soup every 15 minutes and stir.
6. I recommend giving it at least a 1/2 hour of low simmer + stirring. Add any additional salt and pepper to taste, remove bay leaves, then serve.