I don’t really like vegetable beef soup. It’s usually too tomato-y and the vegetables are mushy and it’s just generally not very appetizing. But I saw this version a while back on America’s Test Kitchen and thought maybe, just maybe I’d like it. To me it looked more like a fast version of a beef burgundy than a traditional vegetable beef soup. I took it as a sign I needed to make it when my sister, Annie gave me “The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook” for Christmas and I ran across the recipe as I was planning my weekly menu.
Now even though this recipe is called “quick,” it’s just quick in the sense that it takes less time to make than vegetable beef soup normally does. I’d say this took close to an hour. But don’t let that deter you. It was definitely an hour well spent. This soup turned out so delicious. The beef was tender, the vegetables were cooked through without being mushy (I added peas and potatoes as suggested below), and it had a great depth of flavor. A fabulous recipe that has earned its place in my “keeper” file.
Quick Beef and Vegetable Soup
Serves 4 to 6
“Choose whole sirloin tip steaks over ones that have been cut into small pieces for stir-fries. If sirloin tip steaks are unavailable, substitute blade or flank steak, removing any hard gristle or excess fat. Button mushrooms can be used in place of cremini mushrooms, with some trade-off in flavor. If you like, add 1 cup frozen peas, frozen corn, or frozen green beans during the last 5 minutes of cooking. For a heartier soup, add 10 ounces red potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces (2 cups), during the last 15 minutes of cooking.”
- 1 pound sirloin tip steaks, trimmed of excess fat and cut into ½-inch pieces (see note)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed, caps wiped clean, and quartered (see note)
- 1 large onion, chopped medium
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
- ½ cup red wine
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1¾ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 medium celery ribs, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
- ½ cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- Table salt and ground black pepper
Combine the beef and soy sauce in a medium bowl; set aside for 15 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the mushrooms and onion; cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is browned and dark bits form on the pan bottom, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and the meat starts to brown, 6 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits, and cook until syrupy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the beef broth, chicken broth, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and browned mushrooms and onion; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables and meat are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. While the soup is simmering sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let stand.
When the soup is finished, turn off the heat. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Stir in the parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
From: The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2013