A little Burgundy wine, a little Worcestershire sauce, and the usual hearty beef—plus lots of potatoes and chard—take this version of classic beef vegetable soup into a nice and different direction. Top with grated Parmesan cheese to serve. —Waverly
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Waverly is a longtime Food52 member and two-time contest winner.
WHAT: A spicy take on the stick-to-your-ribs classic.
HOW: Add canned tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce to a pot of sautéed vegetables simmering in red wine and beef broth. Drop in browned beef, potatoes, and herbs, then simmer until the beef is cooked through. Stir in chopped chard and serve topped with Parmesan (and hot sauce!).
WHY WE LOVE IT: The chard, red wine reduction, and Worcestershire sauce add greenery and zest to this traditionally heavy dish. Make it Sunday evening for a dish to enjoy all week—on its own or spooned over rice or noodles. —The Editors
2 hours 30 minutes
1 1/2 pounds
beef chuck, cut into 1-inch chunks and patted dry with paper towels
finely chopped carrots
finely chopped celery
large yellow onions, finely chopped
large cloves garlic, finely chopped
red wine (Burgundy or Pinot Noir works well)
1 1/2 pounds
red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
(32-ounce) can diced fire roasted tomatoes with juice
First, brown the beef in batches: In a stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium high. When the oil is hot, add only enough beef to the pan so that the pieces are not touching. If the beef is crowded, the pieces will steam instead of brown. Brown all sides of the beef and remove them to a plate when done. Continue to brown the beef this way until all of it is browned. Season the beef on the plate lightly with salt. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.
Make the soup base: Add the carrots, celery, and onions to the hot pan and sauté until they are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté one minute more. Add the red wine. Stir everything while the wine simmers in the pan, scraping up any browned bits leftover from cooking the meat. Let the wine simmer until it is reduced a bit, about 1 minute. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes with their juices, and beef broth. Add the browned beef (including any juices on the plate), potatoes, thyme, and bay leaves. Stir everything until it is combined. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat so that the soup simmers. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat until the beef is fork-tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add the chopped chard and simmer 20 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To serve: Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Ladle soup into bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Place Tabasco on the table so that each person can add as much as they like.
Waverly used to be a lawyer and is now a mother 24/7. She has made a commitment to cooking for her family and absolutely loves it even when her family does not. She is teaching them, one meal at a time, to enjoy wholesome homemade food. She abhors processed food but recognizes its insidious nature and accepts the fact that her children will occasionally get some Skittles, Doritos, or the like. Her philosophy and hope is that if she teaches them well at home, they will prefer wholesome healthy foods when they go out into the world without her.