- 1 Tablespoon oil, for browning
- 1 lb stew beef, cut into small cubes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 to 6 cups beef broth (or 5 cups water + 5 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon beef base, or more of each in that ratio, depending how broth-y you want the soup)
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large potato, scrubbed (peel it if you want!) and diced
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 4 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 cup each frozen corn and frozen peas (if I’m also using green beans, I do about 3/4 cup each – but use whatever you like!)
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Pat meat cubes dry with a paper towel, and brown in two batches. Try to resist the urge to stir too much – the meat will brown better. I usually let it go for a minute and half or so, then stir to brown the other side of the cubes a bit. Remove the first batch to a bowl, then repeat with the rest of the meat (add a little more oil if the pot seems dry). When the second batch is almost browned, add the onions and garlic and let them cook for a few minutes, stirring and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Note: if the bottom of the pot is getting too dark, or the onions and garlic are getting brown too fast, you can add a tablespoon or two of water at any point to slow things down and help you scrape up the browned bits during the cooking process.
- Add the water and beef base (or broth) and seasonings, and bring the broth to a simmer. Add the potatoes, carrots, and celery as you get them cut up.
- Stir in the frozen vegetables and simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender, 20-40 minutes (or soup can continue to cook on low until you’re ready to serve). Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
This recipe is from my mom, Barb Ingram. She taught me the simple joy of sitting down to dinner as a family – and many of my favorite recipes are hers!
I don’t typically freeze this soup, because potatoes don’t tend to freeze well. If you’d like to freeze it, I suggest skipping the potato, or adding a leftover baked potato to the portion you’re serving right away.