Slow-cooker Vegetable and Beef Soup*
Active Time: 35-40 minutes / Cook Time: 8 hours 20 minutes / Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Makes 8 servings
*The benefit of the slow-cooker in this recipe is that you can set it and forget it. If you don’t have a slow-cooker, you can do this in a Dutch oven or stockpot with a tightfitting lid. Follow the instructions in steps 1 and 3, using the Dutch oven or stockpot. Add ingredients as in step 4, including the beef, and cook over low heat, stirring every 15 minutes or so, for 2-3 hours or until the vegetables and beef are fully tender. Add the green beans and chard about ½ hour before the end of cooking, and the peas about 5-10 minutes. Follow the rest of the recipe.
- 1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- 1 lb. beef stew meat, cut into ½-1” pieces
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, plus more to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed but left intact
- 3 cups chopped carrot (from about 3-4 large)
- 2 cups chopped celery, (from about 2-3 stalks)
- 1 lb. red or yellow potatoes, cubed
- 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup chopped parsley, divided
- 6-8 cups beef broth
- 2 cups frozen green beans
- 1 bunch Swiss Chard, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1-2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar, to taste (optional)
- Make sure to cut all of your vegetables as indicated before starting, so that they are ready to be added quickly.
- Heat ½ tablespoon coconut oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Sprinkle beef with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add ½ of the beef and brown on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Remove to a bowl and repeat with remaining beef.
- Place beef and any juices in the bottom of a 6-quart slow-cooker set for 8 hours at low.
- Add remaining coconut oil to the saucepan, along with onion, thyme, garlic, carrot, celery, ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine, cover, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Carefully transfer the mixture to the crockpot.
- Add potatoes, tomatoes, bay leaves, 2 tablespoons parsley, and 6 cups beef broth to the slow cooker. Stir gently to combine, cover, and let the machine go to work!
- About 1 hour before the end of cooking, taste the broth. If you’d like, add up to another teaspoon of dried thyme. Add the green beans and Swiss chard and stir.
- About ½ hour before the end of cooking, add the peas and stir.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and 1 tablespoon vinegar, if using. Taste the broth and adjust for seasoning.
- If you would like it to be more “soupy,” add the additional 2 cups of broth.
- Serve 2 cups soup per person for dinner tonight, and package remaining soup in airtight containers for lunches on days 1, 3, and 5 next week. Refrigerate until needed. The soup also freezes well.