Thursday, October 18, 2012

Variegated Vegetable Beef Soup by Lucy Burdette

We have a beautiful crop of leeks in our fall garden and some straggling green beans, which was enough to inspire me to make a pot of soup. My husband likes a lot of beef and I like more vegetables, so I cut the beef in large enough pieces to fish out and put in his bowl:). 

One good thing about this soup is that you can add or subtract ingredients according to your taste. I love limas--my family doesn't. So I wouldn't serve them alone, but I can slip them into a soup. You could add carrots, substitute rice for the barley, use all onions instead of leeks--the possibilities are endless, and all delicious. I think it tastes better if you make the stock one day and add the other veggies the next, but it tastes good made in one day too. And it's gorgeous. And you'll feel virtuous eating it!

1 pound beef, cubed and de-fatted
3 small leeks, cleaned well and chopped

1 small onion, chopped
32 oz. natural beef broth
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (I used spicy)
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup barley, washed
1 box frozen lima beans
1 cup green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups greens (spinach, kale, etc.)

Brown the beef cubes in olive oil. Add the leeks and onion and cook on low heat until golden. 
(Five or so minutes.) Add the broth and the tomatoes and simmer 45 minutes. Refrigerate over night, if desired.

Warm the soup stock to simmer, add the sweet potatoes and the barley, cook 30 minutes.
Add the lima beans, cook 15 minutes. Add green beans and greens, cook until beans are soft.

Serve with biscuits or cornbread (for my recipe click on cornbread,) and a green salad.

And meanwhile, I invite you to enjoy the Key West food critic mysteries, full of food, friendship, and murder--all set in Paradise! PW said about DEATH IN FOUR COURSES: "Anyone who's overpaid for a pretentious restaurant meal will relish this witty cozy."

And please follow Lucy on Twitter @lucyburdette, or "like" her on facebook, or check out her boards on Pinterest for all the latest updates.


  1. Looks delicious! I like the addition of the sweet potato instead of white. Yum!

  2. Yum! Perfect for the cold weather.

  3. thanks Diana and Edith:). Yes, the sweet potato is not only better for you, it sweetens the whole pot.

  4. Gorgeous colors in that soup bowl, Lucy, another keeper recipe. Thanks for sharing--and giving me an AM smile on your strategy for making your hub happy. I can just see you fishing out the beef cubes in your bowl to put into his (actually, I can see myself doing that, too). Cheers and enjoy the fall weekend! ~ Cleo

  5. Oh, yum. Love vegetable soup. What a nice combo. Thanks for sharing.

    Daryl aka Avery

  6. Cleo, my strategy won't help the strict vegetarians, but it works for us:)

  7. Wow, beautiful soup. I made soup last night for dinner. There's just nothing better on a cold night. And I've used leeks in two dishes in the last week -- it's obviously their season. This is wonderful and next on my list. Yum!

    ~ Krista