Hearty – but never heavy – Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup is a perfect easy dinner for coming out of the cozy, comfort food winter months. This healthy dinner relies on a garden variety of veggies to really “beef it up” without sacrificing that “meat and potatoes” mentality. And an extra long sear on your chuck roast means you’ll get more flavor out of less meat.
It’s 10am. Do you know where your crockpot is?
Because now is about the time when you should start prepping this vegetable beef soup. Seriously. Go on and get your ingredients together. I’ll wait…
Great. Now, before we get into it, this is a soup, not a stew. Does crockpot beef soup have the major components of a beef stew? Yes. Are there some major differences? Also yes. So, follow along for the full scoop. Errr… ladle.
First off, put away that soup pot. Vegetable beef soup is not better served by cooking it low and slow in a Dutch oven like a traditional stew. I try to reserve going old school for when I really need to control some component of the recipe, like flavor, texture and/or time.
For example, while my beef stew recipe CAN be cooked in a crockpot, the two-part process (simmering beef with aromatics first, then adding potatoes and carrots in the second half) is best done in a Dutch oven using your oven and range top – you need controlled evaporation to substantially improve the flavor of the stew gravy (yes – it’s basically gravy).
Our crockpot vegetable beef soup needs to cook a long time – like a long, long time – in order for the beef to fall apart into tender shreds. And for those of us with sh!t to do, there’s simply no reason not to throw it all into a crockpot and call it a day. There’s only one stovetop step you must take in order to create a deeply flavored soup.
Tip Time: Brown That Beef
Brown your beef. Like, a lot. A lot, a lot. When I say “brown the beef,” I mean brown bordering on darker brown, not that pallid gray-brown from a quick toss in the pan. Sear the heck out of it!
Leave it alone to sear AT LEAST 4-5 minutes on AT LEAST two sides, until the outside is deeply golden, caramelized, and crispy. Basically, you want to aim for a Johnny Cash-level burning ring of fire around the edges of your meat.
This is called the Maillard reaction. It creates tons and tons of flavor; in fact, the final flavor of the broth is 90% dependent on browning the beef properly. After browning, you’ll deglaze the skillet in order to absorb and transfer all those flavorful browned bits to the crockpot so it can infuse the broth with its savory, caramelly goodness.
Do not disrespect this French man’s memory or my this with gray beef.
How to Make Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup
The set-it-and-forget-it slow cook is only one of many reasons we love this Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup. We also love that it’s an easy dinner, chock full of veggies with lots of options for more. Sear the beef in a skillet before adding to your slow cooker to achieve the robust flavor of a stew, with none of the “stick to your ribs” heaviness.
- Trim the chuck roast, then dice into 2″ chunks. Toss with flour, kosher, salt and ground pepper until well coated.
- Sear the beef pieces in batches in a large skillet until a good crust forms on at least two sides; transfer the browned pieces to your slow cooker.
- In the same skillet, saute a few cloves of garlic until fragrant, then deglaze the skillet with red wine. This deglazing step ensures that all the browned bits – aka flavor bombs – clinging to the bottom of the skillet are transferred to the crockpot to season the broth. Pour the liquids from the skillet over the beef in the crockpot.
- Add the onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, and tomatoes into the slow cooker.
- Whisk the beef broth, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce pour over the beef and veggies. Add the italian seasoning, and give everything a good stir. Finally, add fresh thyme and bay leaves to further season the soup.
- Cover and cook on high for six hours, or low for 8 hours, until beef is very tender and easily shreds.
- In the last hour, stir in fresh green beans and cover to finish cooking.
- Be sure to taste for seasoning before diving in and adjust with salt and pepper to suit your tastes. Ladle into bowls and serve with fresh parsley for a bright finish.
- This recipe is best cooked low and slow – 8-9 hours on the low setting. If cooking on high, give it at least 5 hours, probably closer to 6.
- Trim away any large fat deposits from the chuck roast. Your slow cooker won’t get hot enough for the fat to render (aka melt down), and those fat deposits will turn gummy and gross.
- Dice the vegetables into bite sized pieces, but don’t go too small or they’ll get mushy – aim for 1-2″ bite-sized chunks.
- If you don’t have fresh thyme, substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme.
- We love fire roasted canned tomatoes for their sweeter flavor, but feel free to use what you’ve got, or what’s available to you.
Can I Use Ground Beef?
Yes! But that’s a different recipe (and a faster one, too). Click here to learn how to make hamburger vegetable soup.
More Veggies? Yes, You Can!
In fact, we highly recommend “beefing up” this slow cooker soup with less meat and more veg for added nutrition and flavor.
- Add frozen corn and/or peas (when you add the green beans).
- Fold in sautéed buttery mushrooms. Follow the instructions in this post, and add to the soup at the end, just before serving.
- Try bell peppers! Dice into 1-inch cuts and add with the other raw vegetables.
- Swap the potatoes for turnips (peeled) or sweet potatoes (peeled or unpeeled).
Freezing and Storing
In the Fridge: Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
In the Freezer: Cool the soup, then portion into airtight containers and store in the freezer for 3-4 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
To Reheat: Reheat crockpot beef soup in a pot over medium heat until warmed through. Reheat single portions in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in-between, until warmed through.
More Beef Recipes for the Slow Cooker
- Slow Cooker Korean Beef
- Easy Beef Taco Soup
- Whole30 Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja
- Crockpot Bolognese
Did you make this vegetable beef soup? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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Crockpot Vegetable and Beef SoupPrint Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- 2 lb chuck roast, large fat deposits trimmed, divided into 1-2” pieces
- ¼ cup all purpose flour, see note 1
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry red wine, see note 2
- 1 large vidalia onion, diced into 1” pieces
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1” wide slices on the diagonal
- 2 stalks celery, peeled and sliced into 1” wide slices on the diagonal
- 2 large potatoes, diced into 1” pieces
- 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, fire roasted preferred, see note 3
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 large sprig fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1.5 cups chopped fresh green beans, about 6 ounces
- Place the beef in a large bowl. Sprinkle with flour, salt, and pepper; toss until the beef is well coated.
- Heat olive oil in a 12” skillet over medium high heat. Add half the beef and arrange in a single layer. Sear 4-5 minutes, until a deep golden brown crust forms. Turn the beef pieces with tongs and sear on at least one other side. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon and transfer to the crockpot. Repeat with the remaining pieces of beef.
- Add the garlic to the skillet and saute, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in the red wine to deglaze the skillet, stirring constantly and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Continue cooking until the bits are released and the wine stops bubbling, 2-3 minutes. Pour the skillet liquids into the slow cooker.
- Place the onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, and canned tomatoes into the slow cooker.
- Whisk the beef broth with the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce; pour into the slow cooker. Season with the italian seasoning, then give everything a good stir. Nestle the fresh thyme and bay leaves into the liquid.
- Cover and cook high six hours, or low 8 hours, or until the beef is very tender and easily shreds using the tines of a fork. In the last hour, add the fresh green beans, stir, then cover to finish cooking.
- Taste the broth for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if needed. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serve immediately. See notes for storing and freezing options.
- In the Fridge: Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- In the Freezer: Cool the soup, then portion into airtight containers and store in the freezer for 3-4 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
- To Reheat: Reheat crockpot beef soup in a pot over medium heat until warmed through. Reheat single portions in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in-between, until warmed through.
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