Beef Vegetable Soup

This might be the best classic beef vegetable soup I’ve ever had. And you don’t need an onion soup mix either! Searing the beef might seem like an unnecessary step, but it adds so much flavor—especially those browned bits scraped from the bottom of the skillet.

Prep time 25 minutes
Serves 6

1 pound (455 g) stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) pieces
Sea salt
Black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
4 cups (946 ml) beef broth
2 tablespoons (29 g) Homemade Ghee, avocado oil (29 ml), or coconut oil
3 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) pieces
12 ounces (340 g) red potatoes (or sweet potatoes), cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) pieces
1/2 cup (80 g) diced yellow onion
2 large stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon (30 g) tomato paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut aminos
3 tablespoons (45 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 dried bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste

1 Sprinkle the meat with generous pinches of sea salt, black pepper, and onion powder. Toss the meat to coat evenly.
2 Pour 1/2 (120 ml) cup of broth into a measuring cup and set it next to the stove.
3 Heat the ghee in a large stainless-steel or cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat. When the oil begins to “shimmer,” add half of the stew meat to the pan in one layer. Let the meat cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes, and then flip them around to sear the other sides. You don’t need to sear all sides of the meat or cook them all the way through. The meat should have golden brown crusts scattered throughout. Transfer the meat to a 4-quart (3.8 liter) slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining meat, adding more oil if necessary.
4 Immediately after you transfer the last batch of meat to the slow cooker—and while the pan is still screaming hot—pour the 1/2 cup (120 ml) broth into the pan and scrape up the browned bits stuck to the bottom that will begin to loosen. Pour the liquid into the slow cooker.
5 Add the carrots, potatoes, onion, and celery to the cooker. Whisk the tomato paste, mustard, coconut aminos, and lemon juice together and pour over the top. Add the bay leaves, garlic cloves, rosemary sprig, and 1 teaspoon of salt (add a second teaspoon of salt if you’re using unsalted broth). Pour the remaining 31/2 cups of broth over the top.
6 Cover and cook on low for about 5 hours, until the beef is tender and the flavors have combined well. Taste, and add additional salt if necessary.