Easy Vegetable Beef Soup

This soup is tasty, nutritious, and filling! I make it all throughout the fall and winter. The thyme and sage fill the house with a delicious, mouth-watering aroma. Here's what you'll need to make this recipe:

1 lb. stew meat
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, sliced thin
32 oz container of beef broth
3 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch squares
1 16 oz bag frozen stew vegetables (see note below)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (or 3 fresh tomatoes, diced)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cube Knorr Vegetable Bouillon
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
water to cover all ingredients

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and brown the stew meat on all sides, about 5 minutes stirring often. (As you can see, I swapped out leftover steak for the stew meat.) Remove meat from pot and reserve. Do not clean the brown bits from the bottom of the pot…that's flavor in there! Add the chopped onions and celery to the oil and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Pour the beef broth into the pot and bring to a simmer. Scrape all the bits from the bottom of the pot. Yum! Add the meat back into the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 45 minutes or until the meat is very tender. You may need to add water, if the stock evaporates. Add the potatoes and simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Then add all the other ingredients: the frozen vegetables, the diced tomatoes, bouillon cube, garlic, bay leaves, and spices. Cover ingredients with just enough water that the vegetables are submerged. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, adjust spices, and serve with hot biscuits or crusty bread.

Note: If you can't find stew vegetables in your grocer's frozen food section, use mixed vegetables. Or you can use 1 cup frozen corn, 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, 1 cup frozen green beans.

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