Vegetable Beef Soup at the 828 Market
By Carrie Griffin
We opened 828 Market 15 months ago. We’ve really enjoyed making soups for the market. We’ve just eased back in to making them since shutting down the kitchen due to Covid and it’s bringing back memories of which soups guests liked and the stories they’d tell me about soup recipes they grew up with. Seems like soup and memories go hand in hand.
Growing up my mom made this vegetable beef soup recipe for me and my sister. It was an easy, hearty dinner that her mom also made. She was always particular about the ingredients - as simple as they were - the frozen veggies had to be PictSweet brand, the potatoes couldn't’ be frozen and had to be peeled, the added bag of okra made the soup, saltine crackers were a must and don’t even try to sneak in the low sodium V8 juice!
I really didn’t make this soup until about 3 years ago. My husband, two sons and I moved from Charlotte to Clyde and soon after moving, my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer. Over the course of her treatments and my visits to Charlotte to spend time with her, she would request that I make this soup. I’d always make a lot of it so she’d have leftovers for days. One time, I even had a case of saltine crackers delivered to her house so she’d have plenty to curb her craving for the soup.
It made me feel so loved.
It made me so happy to see my mom enjoy the food I made for her. I loved that my mom approved of me making the soup - and I think it made her feel loved to. I like to think she felt comfort in knowing the soup would continue to make meals and memories for our boys in years to come.
My mom passed away in March of 2019 and this is one recipe, and many memories of making it, that I am so blessed to have and now to share with guests of our market in Waynesville.
1 1/2 pounds of beef tips
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
family size bag of frozen mixed veggies (carrots, corn and green beans)
bag of frozen sliced okra
28 oz can of diced tomatoes
64 oz bottle of V8 tomato juice
4 cups of beef or veggie stock
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
First off - if there are any ingredients you like more than others, feel free to add or remove as you see fit. My mom absolutely loved the cut okra so it was always a necessary addition!
Here are the steps I try to follow to make it just like my mom made it:
Prep the beef tips and potatoes by cutting them into small, bite size pieces. I get stew meat and cut it into 1/4 pieces to make it easier to eat. You can peel the potato or leave the skin on, whatever you prefer.
Start with olive oil in a pan, when it’s hot, add the pre-cut beef tips, diced garlic, chopped onion and chopped potatoes. Sauté these items for 2-3 minutes….smells good already!
Add the browned beef/garlic/onion/potato mix to a large soup pot on the stove. Pour the stock, diced tomatoes and the V8 juice over the mixture in the soup pot and turn on medium heat, adding the bay leaves so it can begin to simmer. As the liquids start to heat, the potatoes will start to soften.
When you can put a fork through the potatoes easily, you’re ready to add in the frozen veggies. From here, you can turn the soup up to get the veggies softened or you can bring the temp down to low and let it simmer lightly until you’re ready to eat it. Keep stirring the soup until you serve.
It’s a must to serve the soup with crackers. My mom always added Saltines to her soup. I hope you enjoy!