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!
Today, I’m sharing the recipe for my mom’s “vegetable soup.” I laugh as I type that, because that’s what it’s always been called, even though a main component of this soup is BEEF SHORT RIBS.
Hey, it’s the Midwest. We like our meat and potatoes (hello mini shepherd’s pie) and there’s undeclared beef in our vegetable soup.
I grew up eating this soup, and my mom still makes batches of it for me here and there. My husband has declared this one of his favorite soups in the world.
It’s just simple, comforting and delicious.
Tips for making this Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup successful:
- 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 so I figured I would add it. Sorry mom, I made a change to your recipe!
What cut of beef is best for vegetable beef soup?
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.
Can I prep the ingredients for this Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup in advance?
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.
Does this recipe freeze well?
Yes, 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.
More serving information for this Crockpot Vegetable Beef 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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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 443Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 620mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 5gSugar: 20gProtein: 21g
MORE GREAT CROCKPOT RECIPES:
- Slow Cooker Carrot & Apple Soup with Za’atar Croutons – one of my favs for fall and winter!
- Slow Cooker Chicken Apple Cider Chili – bookmark this for fall!
- Slow Cooker Barley Risotto – a great side dish or entree.
- Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls – one of the most popular recipes on this blog!
- Slow Cooker Lentil & Sausage Soup – I legit make this one all the time.
- Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup – the #1 MOST POPULAR RECIPE on Foxes Love Lemons.
- Crockpot Taco Soup – make a batch and freeze some for another meal!
- Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie from Pip and Ebby
- Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken from Homemade In The Kitchen