French Market Vegetable Beef Soup

By Sally Cameron on January 27, 2010

Beef & Pork, Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, Soups, Stews & Chilies, the daniel plan

French market vegetable beef soup is a meal in itself. It’s got everything from the market in it – chunks of beef, carrots, onions, celery, tomatoes, pearled barley, corn, green beans, red wine, potatoes, Herbs de Provence and paprika all in a rich beef broth. Be sure to add the parsley at the end. It adds a nice fresh garden flavor and color.

French Market Vegetable Beef Soup | AFoodCentricLife.com

French Market Vegetable Beef Soup

Southern California usually has a climate much like the South of France, but last week we were pounded by torrential rainstorms. My thoughts turned to more pleasant weather and a trip to Provence. Fields of fragrant purple lavender humming with bees growing next to fields of golden barley. It was almost surreal, like something from a dream. From that enchanting memory, I created French market vegetable beef soup, a hearty meal in a bowl for cold wintery days.

Classic French Herb Blend: Herbs De Provence

A few summers ago we were in beautiful Provence for a photography workshop. One of the highlights was shooting the lavender fields. Rolling hills, oceans of lavender as far as you could see. It was amazing. Traveling through Provence we saw little clay jars and cotton bags of a dried herb blend called Herbs de Provence in every village.

It’s a blend of herbs that bloom in the hillsides of Southern France in summer including thyme, rosemary, lavender, fennel, sage, marjoram and savory. It’s available here as well. It’s great for roast chicken and pork, stews, roasted red potatoes, vegetables and many other recipes. It’s always in my herb and spice arsenal, and it’s what I use in this soup.

But back to reality. Needing a warm, comforting soup for my clients and family to ward off the chilly, wet weather, I created French Market Vegetable Beef soup. It combines two elements of that lovely Provence afternoon – a lavender herb blend and barley.

Pressure Cooker Method

Once your prep work is done it goes together quickly as it’s made in a pressure cooker. When the lid is secured and you’ve brought it to high pressure it takes just minutes to complete. Without a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, make it stove top.

This soup freezes well. You can make a single batch in an 6 or 8 quart pressure cooker/Instant Pot or a double batch with a 10 quart.

Standard Method

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, cook soup in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven and simmer over low heat, covered, until the beef and vegetables are tender and the flavors are blended. It will just take longer than the pressure cooker version.

French Market Vegetable Beef Soup | AFoodCentricLife.com

Ingredient Notes – Bone Broth

Broth note – I used to use the organic Better Than Bullion concentrate to boost flavor. As I have worked towards eliminating unhealthy ingredients and reading every label, I decided to change this recipe. Unfortunately while these types of products boost flavor, they are terribly high in sodium and contain unhealthy ingredients like sugar and caramel coloring. If you have bullion in your kitchen, toss it. I now buy frozen bone broth. For extra rich broth and big beefy flavor, reduce 8 cups to 4 cups before starting the recipe.  Skip the cans and boxes which often have high sodium and unhealthy ingredients.

Barley note – If you eat gluten-free, skip the pearled barley as it contains gluten. You could substitute a little cooked brown rice, but the soup is fine without it for a grain-free soup.

Frozen vegetables note – Adding frozen vegetables pumps up the vegetable content, texture and healthy profile of the soup. Use an organic blend which includes corn, carrots, green beans, peas. And the nice thing is frozen vegetables are readily available.

Nutrition Facts
French Market Vegetable Beef Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 195 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 370mg16%
Potassium 899mg26%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

French Market Vegetable Beef Soup

A hearty meal in a bowl with tender beef, lots of vegetables, herbs and rich broth. This recipe is done in a pressure cooker but can be made without one. See notes for standard cooking method. If you follow a gluten-free diet, skip the barley.
Course Soup
Cuisine French
Keyword Soup
Servings 6
Calories 195kcal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound top sirloin cut into small cubes about 3/4″
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided use
  • 1 medium onion diced small
  • 3 large garlic cloves chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine optional
  • 4 cups low sodium rich beef broth try the frozen
  • 2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence see note below to sub
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-14 ounce can petite diced tomatoes juice and all
  • 2 medium carrots peeled, chopped small
  • 2 celery stalks peeled, chopped small
  • 2 medium red potatoes skin on, chopped medium
  • 1/4 cup pearled barley skip for gluten-free diet
  • 8 ounces mixed frozen organic vegetables green beans, corn, peas and carrots
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Garnish

  • Parmesan cheese optional

Instructions

  • Set a pressure cooker over medium to medium-high heat and brown meat in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the tomato paste and stir with the meat to coat and caramelize a bit. Set meat aside.
  • Add second tablespoon of olive oil and sauté onions until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add wine to deglaze pan and reduce wine by half. Add all remaining ingredients, water through potatoes and the browned meat as well.
  • Lock lid in place and bring up to high pressure; begin timing for eight minutes. When done, bring pressure down with the quick release method, moving the pot to a sink and running cool water over it. You will hear the pressure release in about 20 seconds. Remove bay leaf and stir in frozen vegetables and parsley. Garnish with cheese and enjoy (optional).

Notes

Standard cooking method:i f you do not have a pressure cooker, brown the meat in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven and follow the rest of the directions. Instead of cooking at high pressure, simmer over low heat with a lid on until the beef and vegetables are tender and the flavors are incorporated.
Herbs de Provence substitution: You can substitute other dried herbs blends, such as Italian blend or just use dried thyme, oregano and a little rosemary. Use what you have, but try the Herbs de Provence sometime. it's delicious.

Nutrition

Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 370mg | Potassium: 899mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg
No Comments
  1. Shurla McManus - February 12th, 2010

    Perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day,it looks scrumptious.

  2. Eileen Sherman - February 14th, 2010

    Fabulous Blog site and the photos are incredible. I love the photo of the Vegetable, Beef and Barley soup ingredients. That is a soup I will definitely make for my own clients and also have my home chef students make as well. Do you spend time making beef stock from scratch, or do you find that the Better than Bouillon is just as flavorful? Thanks for this blog. It is fantastic. I could use some education and practice taking creatively correct food photos!!!

  3. Chef Sally - February 14th, 2010

    Hi Eileen! Thanks for the nice comments. It is a fantastic soup. The BTB gives a very rich, deep flavor. If you can get the new low sodium version that’s good too (less salt). I don’t usually make homemade stock/broth for this. If you prefer to use stock/broth versus BTB I’d double the amount of liquid – 4 1/2 cups to 9 cups – then reduce it to half to intensify the flavors. I do that when I make beef short ribs in the pressure cooker and it works great for big flavor. The best brand I have found it called “Stock Options”. It comes frozen and is just like homemade. Please comment back and let everyone know how it came out!

  4. J. Johns - September 10th, 2011

    Hi Chef Sally…

    I became interested in preparing more Gallic dishes ever since finding out about my own French blood. I tried out your French Market Vegetable Beef Soup Provencal. It is a real blue ribbon recipe! I enjoyed this tremendously, and I even made some for my friend for her birthday. She asked me if I’d taken gourmet classes! Thank you very much for this wonderful soup.

  5. Rose - November 6th, 2012

    Hi the Vegetable beef barley soup sounds yummy, I’m looking forward to trying it. However, we do not eat red meet, is there something else you would recommend. I will try the BTB beef stock, or can I use the Vegetable instead

  6. Sally - November 7th, 2012

    Hi Rose. I would try leaving out the beef and using either chicken stock or vegetable stock versus water. Homemade would be best. Without the beef you could probably skip pressure cooking and just simmer until all of the vegetables are tender. The BTB does give the beef version deeper, richer flavor. Looking at the label of BTB, the organic bases (I looked at the chicken) look pretty good in terms of food additives if you want to go with water and use the BTB. Watch the sodium levels. If you want to skip the BTB and still aim for a rich flavor, you could use reduced broth which would have a more intense flavor, or go with regular broth for a lighter soup. This is something I have wanted to play with myself. Please report back what you did. I’ll have to play with my recipe to and make notes. Thanks!

  7. Rose - January 19th, 2013

    Hi Sally
    So I followed your recipe without meat. Bumping up the barley, diced tomatoes, carrots and celery. I used Veggie Stock and a small tsp of the BTB. It taste great. Thank You. I love your recipes and web site.

  8. Sally - January 20th, 2013

    Thanks for reporting back Rose! I’ve wanted to do exactly that and bet it was good. I make it with beef because my family likes it that way. A I am not a beef eater, I have wanted to do a no-beef version.

  9. Tonya Holcomb - October 16th, 2013

    Sally, Would you please let me know if I need to make any modifications that I would to make to cook this in a slow cooker (crock pot)? Your newbie cook, Tonya

  10. Sally - October 16th, 2013

    Hi Tonya. Well that’s a good question. I have never tried it in a slow cooker. I would set the slow cooker to high to brown the meat cubes with the tomato paste, then turn it down, add the onions and allow them to get tender, add the garlic and allow it to cook for a few minutes on low so it is not raw. Then add everything else and turn the cooker to medium or low. Not sure, as it may depend on our model. Then cover and slow cook until the vegetables are tender and the meat is just pink inside. On the wine, as it will not have high heat to cook off the alcohol you may want to skip it or be sure that the cooker is hot enough for the wine to boil down a bit. When you add the veggies at the end, I would add them thawed then allow soup to cook a bit longer so they heat up and the flavors incorporate. If you do this, please report back. Next time I make it I will do a slow cooker version and post additional directions, or even a new modified recipe. Thanks for your question!

  11. Tonya Holcomb - October 16th, 2013

    Sally, since I do not have a pressure cooker, I was thinking about browning the meat and the steps all the way down to the wine in a cast iron skillet. Then, place the meat & remaining ingredients in the slow cooker to allow everything to incorporate. Thank for your feedback!

  12. Sally - December 11th, 2013

    That should work fine Tanya!

  13. Lizz - December 11th, 2013

    I have made a real effort to make dinner 4 nights a week for my family of 5. We have been so busy, as many families are that we fell into relying on takeout or worse, cereal for dinner. I get up early and make breakfast, lunch and dinner before 8 am to allow my time running as a Mommy and working with my husband at our family business. This soup cooked while I got ready for the day, I shut it off when I left and turned it on medium when I returned home. It was delicious, and surely hit a spot that no take out can deliver. It also makes a bunch so I can have lunch for days and that makes my hubby very happy. Served with sourdough and a healthy helping of love this recipe is in heavy rotation in this house. Thanks for posting it.

  14. Sally - December 11th, 2013

    Thanks for letting us know Lizz! Great story. I am so glad this recipe serves your family well. Good for you on working so hard to be a blessing to your family and feed them well. This soup freezes well too. How long were you gone during the day? The only concern I would have is how long the soups sits out on the stove, for food safety reasons. If it is more than a couple of hours and you want it done when you get home, you might put it in a slow cooker.

  15. Sally Brown - January 4th, 2014

    I made this recipe today for dinner. It was excellent! I have been looking for a great veggie soup recipe and thanks to you, I found it! The broth was most excellent! Many many thanks. I grew up eating veggie soup and now with your recipe, my son will too. THANK YOU! Going to check out the rest of your recipes!

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