Slow Cooker Beef Vegetable Soup
This Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup is a simple, comforting and delicious Midwestern classic. A hearty meat and potatoes dinner in a bowl, this soup simmers to perfection while you’re at work!
Juicy and Tender Slow Cooker Beef Vegetable Soup
This Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup recipe has been in my family for generations, and I hope your loved ones will love it as much as we do.
It’s the most comforting soup for anybody who is sick, just had a baby, or is just looking for a warm soothing meal on a cold day.
While for some reason my family refers to this as just “vegetable soup,” the star of this dish is actually beef short ribs. They add meaty flavor and make a luscious broth.
Vegetable Beef Soup Slow Cooker Ingredients
- bone-in beef short ribs – these provide robust flavor and so much meaty goodness in the soup. As they simmer in the crock pot, the meat becomes tender and falls right off the bone.
- canned whole tomatoes and the juice from the can – this recipe is unique because my family uses one large can of whole tomatoes that we chop up ourselves, rather than using only canned chopped tomatoes. We don’t know why, but the soup tastes better this way!
- canned diced tomatoes and the juice from the can – we also add one smaller can of diced tomatoes for a slightly different texture.
- beef consomme – we used Campbell’s brand beef consomme, which is a concentrated beef broth.
- onion – this adds a savory base flavor to the soup.
- carrots – these add sweetness and vibrant color to the soup.
- celery – if we already have onions and carrots, we might as complete the mirepoix, right?
- bay leaves – these infuse the soup with earthy aroma and flavor.
- garlic – an essential ingredient to any well-balanced savory soup.
- potato – one pound of Russet potato (about 1 large potato) acts as a thickening agent for the soup and makes it heartier.
- salt and pepper – to season the soup to perfection.
How to make Mom’s Slow Cooker Beef Vegetable Soup
- Sear the short ribs in a skillet on the stove until they are browned on all sides. While this is happening, chop the whole tomatoes.
- Add the seared short ribs to the crockpot along with all of the remaining soup ingredients.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Remove and discard the bay leaves. Remove the short ribs and gently pull off any meat that remains on the bone. Discard the bones. Coarsely chop the meat and stir it back into the soup.
- Cook the soup on high for about 5 minutes or so, just to let the meat warm back up. Then it’s time to eat!
Beef Vegetable Soup Slow Cooker Tips for Success
- Yes, you need to brown the short ribs on the stove before you start the slow cooker. I know most people prefer crockpot soups that are “dump recipes” where you simply dump everything into the crockpot and turn it on. You CAN do that here, but your soup won’t have the same rich flavor if you don’t brown the short ribs first, so I wouldn’t recommend skipping that step.
- I simply brown the short ribs as I’m cutting up the veggies for the soup. I find that I can chop the veggies in just about the same amount of time as it takes the ribs to brown, and then I just put it all in the crockpot!
- You’ll notice that the recipe calls for a 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes as well as a 28 ounce can of tomatoes that you’ll roughly chop up yourself. I know it’s weird, but my mom insists: “Trust me, it works best this way, instead of BOTH cans being diced. Years of perfection!”
- My mom’s recipe does not call for fresh garlic, although sometimes she’ll add garlic powder. I had fresh garlic on hand from making shrimp wonton soup earlier in the week, so I figured I would add it. Sorry mom, I made a change to your recipe!
What is the best cut of beef for this Vegetable Soup Crock Pot Recipe?
There are a few different cuts of beef that will work for this soup, but my family prefers bone-in short ribs.
Primarily because the bones add a LOT of flavor to the broth while it slowly cooks. So, a boneless cut of beef would result in a less flavorful soup.
Other cuts of beef that work well for this soup are top chuck, chuck shoulder or chuck roast.
Prep ingredients for this Vegetable Beef Soup Crock Pot Recipe ahead of time!
I tested this recipe with completely prepping everything (browning the ribs, chopping all the veggies, and stirring all of the ingredients together in the crockpot bowl) the night before, and it turned out great!
So feel free to prep everything, store the bowl in the fridge, and then turn it on to cook before you leave for work in the morning.
Storing Vegetable Beef Soup (Slow Cooker Recipe)
Allow any leftover soup to cool to room temperature, and then transfer it to an airtight container (or portion it out into several smaller containers). The soup can be refrigerated up to 3 days, or frozen up to 3 months.
Does Slow Cooker Beef Vegetable Soup freeze well?
Yes, just like my Old Fashioned Ham and Bean Soup this Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup freezes well! We prepare and cook the recipe as written, then cool it down and freeze it. We’ll just reheat it on the stove before eating.
Serving Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup
- Like my Irish colcannon soup, this recipe makes 4 hearty dinner-sized servings, or 6 smaller portions if you’re serving it with salad and bread.
- Sometimes, Jeff will put a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top of the soup when he serves it, and I must admit that it’s pretty tasty that way.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 bone-in beef short ribs (about 1-3/4 pounds)
- 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes and their juice
- 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes and their juice
- 1 can (10.5 ounces) beef consommé (we use Campbell's brand)
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced (about 1 pound)
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to skillet; place short ribs in skillet. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until browned on all sides, turning occasionally.
- Meanwhile, use a slotted spoon to remove whole tomatoes from their juice and transfer to cutting board (keep juice). Roughly chop tomatoes. Place tomatoes and their juice in crockpot.
- Transfer short ribs to bowl of 5 to 6 quart crockpot. Add diced tomatoes and their juice, consommé, carrots, bay leaves, celery, garlic, potato, onion, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low 8 hours.
- Remove bay leaves and discard. Remove short ribs from crockpot and transfer to cutting board. Remove meat from bones and discard bones. Coarsely chop meat. Stir meat back into soup; cover and cook 5 minutes on high or until meat is warmed through.
- Serve soup topped with parsley, if desired.
Home Chef Tip: My mom dices the veggies quite a bit smaller than I did for the soup pictured in this post. Really, it comes down to your family's preference. Large dice or small, it'll turn out great!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 443Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 620mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 5gSugar: 20gProtein: 21g