Do you know the difference between a soup and a stew? I never thought much about what sets them apart until creating this recipe. I figured the only difference was the amount of water and cooking time, but I really wasn’t sure. After a quick google search my guess was confirmed by Wikipedia: “Generally, stews have less liquid than soups, are much thicker and require longer cooking over low heat.”
I’ve decided to call this recipe a soup, although the cooking time perhaps resembles that of a stew and it’s made with stew meat. BUT, there is quite a bit of liquid and the cooking time can be cut short. (Maybe I should just name this a stoup? Haha!) I usually prefer stews over soups because I like less liquid. Typically, I’ll soak up the broth in soups by adding rice, quinoa or lentils but since this is a Whole 30 approved recipe, all those options were out.
This Veggie & Beef Soup has a robust flavor with fresh herbs, vegetables and grass fed beef for some protein, giving it a wonderful taste and aroma. I tend to make a lot of meals like this during the winter months. When it’s cold out, there’s just something so comforting about a warm bowl of soup (or stew) and I’m always down for a meal that requires little effort 😉 After all, all you need to do is prep a bunch of veggies, cook a bit of meat and then throw them in a giant pot of water with spices to cook.
*Rinse veggies: bok choy, broccoli, carrot. Cut off base of bok choy and chop. Remove broccoli base and chop. Chop green cabbage. Peel carrot and chop.
**You may reduce the cooking time if you prefer firmer vegetables.
As always, feel free to mix up the type of vegetables you use. I rarely eat bok choy, simply because I don’t care for it’s flavor very much, but adding it to a soup like this masks it’s flavor and appearance. You may also substitute the fresh herbs with dried herbs, but the taste won’t be quite as robust.
Recipes like this are perfect when you want something to eat that doesn’t require much effort. The meat can be cooked before hand, you can swap beef for another type of meat, or you can omit it completely. Soups are also a great way to use up vegetables in your fridge if they’re about to go bad.
I served this soup plain and paired it with a baked sweet potato.
Since the cooking time was an hour, the meat turned out extremely tender – exactly what I like in a soup. If you do not want the vegetables to be quite so soft you can reduce the cooking time but this will slightly affect the texture of the meat.
Do you prefer soup or stew? What are some of your favorite soup recipes?