Beef and Vegetable Soup



I’ve been terribly ill the last week, but I attribute this delicious soup to my recovery. Real bone broth packs a ton of healing properties. Store bought broth is not cooked the same way, and therefore is used just for flavor – unfortunately it does not have much nutritional value. When we can, we follow the Nourishing Traditions recipe for making beef or chicken broth – but if you live here in the San Jose area, you can get already made beef broth from grass fed cows at the Campbell’s Farmer’s Market! But if you aren’t close, and don’t want to make your own broth, take heart. You can order “real” bone broth on the internet!

Check it out:

Andrew’s work shared this yummy recipe with us. I like to add quinoa or brown rice at the end (already cooked) to make the meal more filling.


Beef and Veggie Soup

1 beef chuck [cut into cubes]..[or you can buy already cut beef stew meat from a local grocery store]

1-2 cups chopped yellow onions

3 large carrots [peeled and diced] [you don’t necessarily need to peel carrots-they have waaay more nutritional value with their skin on  ]

3 celery ribs [diced]

Red wine [always cook with something you are willing to drink yourself]

1Ž4 c. minced garlic

Beef stock or broth [we use veal stock here..but beef stock or broth will work just fine]

1bunch thyme [chopped]

1 bunch oregano [chopped]

2 bay leaves

Salt and black pepper to taste

[again you can always up the ante on the vegetables]


Brown off beef in stock pot over medium high heat [in batches depending on how much you have-to achieve nice color] in oil [preferably vegetable oil, rice oil, or canola oil…olive oil will burn up too fast], remove from pot and allow to drain off any excess grease, reserve beef for later. In the same pot over medium heat, add in your diced onions, carrots and celery with your bay leaves. Allow to cook til onions become slightly translucent. Then add in your minced garlic [I personally LOVE garlic, so feel free to add in a lil more if you love garlic as much as I do] let cook for about a minute, try to avoid browning the garlic as it will become bitter once it hits that stage. Deglaze with red wine, about a cup or so and reduce out the alcohol. [You can always tell when the alcohol is cooked out by smelling it…if it burns your nose hairs…theres still alcohol left In the pot..if are good to move on to the next step J] add in about half of your chopped herbs and return meat back to pot. Add in your stock [to cover] and simmer away until beef is tender. Season up with salt and pepper as needed and at this point depending on how much you like herbs, you can finish with the rest of your herbs and skim off whatever fat or grease that may have been released over the simmering process…and viola!!!! You have beef and vegetable soup!! J

Things to keep in mind:

you can easily turn this into a stew by adding potatoes and letting them break down a lil to give the soup a thicker heartier feel.

You can also add in other seasonal vegetables such as sweet potatoes, parsnips [to give it a lil peppery taste to it], yams, the spring/summer time, you can add tomatoes, corn, peas, green beans..or any type of dried bean year round..the possibilities are endless!! J

Picture Step by Step Chicken Soup Tutorial

Here is a step by step picture tutorial on how to make your own nourishing chicken soup.  In our house, we use quinoa instead of noodles, but Chicken Quinoa Soup just doesn’t have the same ring to it ask Chicken Noodle Soup!  So, if you prefer noodles, go ahead and skip the quinoa prep parts, but I do highly recommend you try it with quinoa instead because of the wonderful nutritious value of this super grain.

Do youself a favor when you make this – make it BIG so that you have some to freeze for the future, when you are feeling under the weather, and you need a quick hardy soup on hand.  I always feel infinitely happier when I know there is frozen soup in my freezer!!

And forgive the quality of my pictures.  I’m not going for a food blog award here.  These are iPhone photos taken in my small messy kitchen with poor lighting.  It’s real life folks.  Real life.

And onward to the soup!!

Step 1: Peel and chop half an onion.  Ignore the Safeway receipt.  


Step 2: Sauté chopped onion with a few pats of butter in a stock pot or dutch oven.


Step 3: Peel and mince a few cloves of garlic, add to the sautéing onions


Step 4: Toast 1 cup of quinoa in a saucepan for about 6 minutes. Just quinoa in the pan, nothing else. You will know it’s done toasting when you can smell it. Don’t let it go too long or it will burn. If you need to, put a timer on it!


Step 5: Chop several stalks of celery

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Step 6: Add chopped carrots. These are extra carrots and green beans that I had over the summer, so I chopped them up and tossed in a freezer bag. Perfect and easy to put in soups when you are short on time! I put them in the soup completely frozen. Freezing pre-chopped veggies is amazing and so helpful.  How did I just learn about it?  Life changing!!


Step 7: Add herbs. Here I am using fresh parsley. If you have it, great. If you don’t, no worries. Allow veggies to cook until softened.  Also add some salt.


Step 8: By this time, you should smell your quinoa toasting up nicely. Measure 1 3/4 cups water, preferably boiling hot, but it’s ok if it’s not.


Step 9: Add the water to your quinoa

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Step 10: Add a tbsp of olive oil to the pot with the water and quinoa. I don’t measure, just a quick pour.

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Step 11: Add a tsp of salt to the quinoa. 


Step 12:  Bring quinoa to a boil, then down to low and simmer for 20 minutes.


Step 13:  Revisit your veggies.  Add spices.  These are my favorite cast of characters.  Just a pinch or two of the turmeric will give a nice flavor.  I like to be generous with the garlic salt and other seasonings.  Other yummies to add are dried onion, onion salt, thyme.


Step 14:  Add your cooked chopped chicken.  Stir to get them covered with the flavors and cook for a minute.  This is where already cooked chicken from the freezer comes in very handy – preferably if you made a roast chicken and shredded the extra meat!  Also another great way to save $, one whole chicken can make several meals if you roast it, then shred it, make broth, and soup.  Our family of 5 can use one 4 lb chicken for 3 meals.  You rock, roast chicken! 

(here it is out of the fridge)


(then chopped and in the soup!)


Step 15:  Add your homemade chicken broth until the veggies are completely covered, and then some.  Yes, homemade broth.  It’s where all the nutrients and healing “powers” of the soup come from.  Store bought broth does not have the same nutritional qualities.  But if you are pressed, store bought is OK.  Just promise me next time you’ll do homemade, ok?  


Step 16:  Bring to a boil.


Step 17:  Once your quinoa is done, it should look like this.  Add to your soup.  I like to add all of it.  I think it makes a hearty soup and keeps you full longer.  Of course, if you are doing noodles instead, add the cooked noodles now.


Step 18: Check your flavors.  Taste, adjust, taste taste, adjust more!!  I always end up adding more salt and seasonings.  Just use a clean spoon for every taste.   🙂  And voila!  Your soup is done!  Super healthy, warms up up inside (which helps fight germs, too!), veggies, bone broth gelatinous goodness to keep your immunity up, and all the delights of the complete protein, high calcium, magnesium, and iron of the lovely hardy gain quinoa.  Eat!  Enjoy!  (remember to stir well when serving because the quinoa is heavy and sinks to the bottom).


Susie’s Chicken Enchilada Soup


Susie inspired me with her talk about chicken enchilada soup! I did my best to recreate her vision after she visited us. Thankfully, soups are forgiving and you can play around with this recipe using a few simple ideas as a base.

Sautee in butter or olive oil:

Onions, garlic, bell peppers

Add in:

Enchilada Sauce

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

Shredded cooked chicken (about 2 breasts)

Corn or canned cream corn

Beans (black)

Cheese (a few handfuls of a hearty cheddar)

Adjust flavor with spices:

Cumin, Garlic Salt, Chili Powder, Salt, Salsa

If you soup is too thick, thin it out with some milk/water combo.

Serve with chips, cheese, green onions, cilantro on top!


Easy Peasy End of Summer Veggie Soup

This is such a simple and great recipe to toss together. It’s easy, I promise. You can’t go wrong with any veggie that you add!

Melt a few tbsps of butter in a large pot or dutch oven. Sautee onions and a clove or two of garlic until transparent and soft.

Add veggies. Here is where it gets easy. When bell peppers, zuchinni, carrotts, etc are in abundance in the summer, I like to chop them and freeze them. If you have these on hand, great! Throw them in with your soften onions and garlic. If you don’t have any frozen, look through your fridge and use what you have. Keep your “soft” veggies for later (like tomatoes and leafy greens). For a summer soup like this, I like sweet peppers, banana peppers, summer squash and zucchini as my primary veggies.  Frozen corn is also a nice one to add.

Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and other seasonings. I like to use a pinch of tumeric, hearty sprinkle of garlic salt, and a dash of Trader Joes 21 seasoning salute.

Here is the best part – take some fresh summer basil, slice, and add to the sauteed veggies. Add any fresh herbs you have – parsely is good too! Cook for a few minutes until fragrant.

Chop up several ripe tomatoes. Personally I think heirloom are the best and have the most flavor! They may be expensive at the store but if you grow them yourself they are super cheap and simple grow … but I digress, use high quality tomatoes if you can! There is nothing better!

Now add your chicken broth. Fill to a few inches above your veggies. To make life easy, and when I don’t have homemade broth on hand, I like to use the Costco chicken bullion that you “make” – so I add water and then mix in the amount of bullion that I need directly to the soup. Great for those times when you don’t want to open lots of cans of broth or measure cups of anything.

Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer.

Another easy tip – add Trader Joe’s frozen organic brown rice. I heat it up the microwave then toss in the soup. Sometimes I like to also add in already cooked chicken at this step – it’s even easier if you have the chicken pre chopped and frozen. Or you could do pre-cooked quinoa!  The point here is EASY.  Whatever you have on hand!

Last step – shred some kale, swiss chard, or spinach and add to the soup. Put a lid on your pot and let the leafy greens wilt and cook.

Now taste – do you need to add something? Salt? Garlic? Minced Onions? Dried Herbs?

Serve with a hearty loaf of bread and enjoy!

Herbed Tomato Soup


Our family literally excitedly waits for this soup every year.  With tomato season happily upon us, this recipe deserves a repost.  It’s summer in a bowl – super tasty!  We picked 30 lbs of tomatoes yesterday at our CSA farm’s u-pick.  I plan on making as much of this soup as possible!  It also freezes great!  Seriously, it’s better than any restaurant tomato soup.  The flavor makes my mouth water just writing about it!

And, I’m happy to report, it’s non-dairy, practically carb free, and could easily be vegan (just swap vege broth for chicken broth). Yay for fantastic healthy tasty meals!

Herbed Tomato Soup

Martha Stewart New Classics

makes about 8 cups


1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
12 large garlic cloves
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp coarsely chopped lovage or celery leaves
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp coarse salt
6 lbs tomatoes, chopped
1 – 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup thinly sliced basil


Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic, celery, parsley, lovage, and salt.  Cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes and stock; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer until tomatoes are soft and mixture is slightly reduced, 15-20 minutes.  Stir in basil; cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Pass the soup through the medium of a food mill set over a large bowl; discard the solids.  (we don’t have a food mill, so I pushed the soup through a fine mesh strainer with the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher).  Reheat if necessary and serve with crostini bread.


heat oven to 400 degrees.  brush several slices of rustic italian bread with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.  bake until edges are golden, about 5-8 minutes.

Homemade Chicken Stock



So, no, of course you don’t HAVE to make your own broth. You can easily get away with the store bought stuff. But in all honesty, once you do your own, you’ll have a hard time going back. Everything is so much more delicious and flavorful with homemade broth. Especially soups. And, it’s super good for you. The vinegar in this recipe helps leach the marrow from the bones, and that’s the good stuff that makes you feel better when you’re sick and boosts your immune system.

Homemade Chicken Stock
Bones from leftover roasted chicken

a few carrots roughly chopped

a few celery stalks roughly chopped and the end bits that you usually don’t use

some leaves from the celery (lovage) and carrot tops if you have them

quartered onion (no need to peel)

parsley – fresh is great if you have it

a few garlic cloves

lots of salt

a splash of white wine if you’ve got it

a few tbsp vinegar

Put it all in the biggest stock pot you have – add water to cover everything, and bring to a boil. Then simmer and cover for at least 24 hrs, if not longer. When the water cooks down, add more.

After simmering is done, drain the broth and discard the solids. Divide into 2 cups and freeze in plastic baggies. Voila!

Healing Cabbage Soup


You might look at this title and thing it sounds bland and boring. But no! This was actually super tasty! And what a great way to use extra cabbage that you might have. As always there are lots of variations that you can do with this soup, so play around and make it work with what you have.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil or butter in a dutch oven

Sautee 1 cup chopped onion, carrots, 2-3 cloves garlic and any other veggies that you have (we did parsnips – potatoes or celery would be good too!)

When veggies are soft, add 2 quarts of chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Return to a simmer, and add half a head of cabbage ,chopped and cored. We used red cabbage, but green works too.

When cabbage wilts (in 10 minutes or so) add one can stewed or diced Italian tomatoes

Add seasonings – garlic salt, italian seasonings, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, a dash of cayenne

Here’s where you can get creative – add in few of the following. We did beef and quinoa to make this a heartier meal!

Ground Beef (seasoned with Italian seasonings, garlic salt, onion powder, etc)
Ground Pork
Sliced Sausage
Cooked Quinoa
Cooked Brown Rice

You can check out the original recipe that I used as a base here.

I’m not quite sure why it’s called healing – I think it must have something to do with the cabbage and onions and chicken broth?

Black Eye Peas, Collard Greens & Black Rice Soup

If you make the Hoppin’ John Bowls, here is a great way to use your left over black eyed peas, rice, and collard greens!

I actually enjoyed this more than the original recipe – maybe it is the addition of bacon?!? 🙂 Everything is "approximate" because left over soup can be that way. Add whatever veggies you have! Celery would be great here.

Sautee 3 strips of bacon, chopped, in a dutch oven or large stock pot.
When bacon has released it’s fat, and getting brown, drain off half of the fat (I used a spoon to take it out).

Add 1 cup chopped onion, 4 or so handfuls of chopped red potatoes, chopped carrots (about 3 or so).

Sautee all together for about 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Add chicken broth, covering the vegetables by about an inch or two of broth.

Bring to a boil.

Turn down to a simmer, add a few cups of cooked beans or black eyed peas and cooked rice.

Add salt, garlic salt, pepper, a dash of turmeric.

Tear off the greens from the stems on 4-5 collard greens, add to soup, let cook on low covered for 10 minutes.

When collard greens wilt, it’s done!

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

One of the few recipes I can wing and not need to look at directions. Chicken noodle soup is very forgiving and you can work with what you have. Make it super simple by shredding a rotisserie chicken and tossing it in at the end. Of course it always tastes better with homemade broth if you have it!

Sautee in large pot or dutch oven, 10 minutes or until soft:

2-3 carrots, chopped2-3 celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
pat of butter

Add and bring to boil:
Chicken broth, to cover veggies, filling about half of your pot.
Combo of spices: tumeric, garlic salt, white pepper, parsley flakes, thyme – taste test to adjust! start small and work your way up with the spices. you can always add more, but you can’t add less. 😉

Turn down to a hearty simmer, add:
Shredded Chicken

Cook until noodles are soft.

Katie’s Harvest Chili


Katie came to visit us this weekend! And she made us this delicious dinner! If I had a star rating system, I would give this 5 stars!! She served it over polenta, yum!

Harvest Chili
Better Homes and Gardens

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked chicken-apple sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large red onions, chopped (3 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch chunks (about 6 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4-inch slices
  • 1 15 – 16 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed, drained, and slightly mashed
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage or tiny sage leaves
  • Golden Delicious or other apple, sliced into rings


1.In a large Dutch oven heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage; cook for 5 to 6 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon.

2.In the same pan cook onions and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender. Add the squash; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper; cook for 1 minute. Return the sausage to pan. Add broth; bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 8 minutes.

3.Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Cook apple slices in hot oil for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until light brown. Transfer apples along with beans to chili. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until apples are tender. Top servings of chili with sage and apple rings.