Slow-Cooker Beef and Garden Vegetable Soup
Why This Recipe Works
It's rare that you find a vegetable-packed soup that also features tender, juicy chunks of beef, but this slow-cooker version does just that. Because the meat simmers for hours in the slow cooker, it infuses the fragrant broth with beefy flavor. We started with lean beef chuck roast (which we found to be the best cut for stews and soups) and trimmed it of all visible fat before cutting it into 1-inch pieces. To build flavor without adding fat, we doctored chicken broth with dried porcini mushrooms, tomato paste, and soy sauce for depth and sweetness. While most beef soups go heavy on the meat and light on the vegetables, we increased the amount of vegetables to add substance to the soup. One final touch perfected our beef and vegetable soup recipe: Steaming green beans in the microwave with a little bit of water and adding them at the end of cooking ensured that they were not overcooked and stayed crisp and green.