This is How to Make the Best Vegetable Soup

There's more than one secret ingredient in this hearty bowlful.

Hearty Beef and Freezer Veggie Soup
Recipe: Hearty Beef and Freezer Veggie SoupThis satisfying soup comes together quickly, even though it tastes like it's simmered all day. Top each serving with a swirl of pesto to add brightness on a chilly fall day. Photo: Greg DuPree

If your idea of a vegetable soup is strictly vegetarian, you might want to stop reading and head over to our Meatless Mains collection. But, if you're up for a tasty adventure, take a ride with us as we share the secrets to our best ever vegetable soup, Hearty Beef and Freezer Veggie Soup.

Start with a Dutch Oven

The pot choice is key when making our vegetable soup. Why? Because you'll need to use it to braise secret ingredient #1. A heavy-bottomed pot—like a Dutch oven—is the best choice for the job.

Add Secret Ingredient #1

The ingredient list is stacked with veggie upon veggie, but add cubed lean stew meat to make it the heartiest and most satisfying version you've ever tasted. Braising the meat before throwing in the rest of the ingredients brings a richer flavor.

Pile in the Veggies

We didn't stop at corn and green beans. Our version calls for corn, okra, baby lima beans, green beans, and ditalini pasta (for fantastic texture).

Make It Freezer-Friendly

This Hearty Beef and Freezer Veggie Soup recipe makes 8 servings but can easily be doubled if you want to stock your freezer. Simply prepare the recipe through step 2. Let it cool completely before dividing it among zip-top freezer bags. When the mood strikes for a quick and easy weeknight dinner, simply pull out a bag of soup, let it thaw, then add it to a pot. Once simmering, stir in the uncooked pasta. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes before serving.

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Top it with Secret Ingredient #2

After ladling a scoop or two into each bowl, top with a dollop of jarred pesto. It will bring a fresh kick of herby flavor to each spoonful.

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