Vegetable Beef Soup
RITA’S CLONED FRISCH’S VEGETABLE BEEF SOUP
Ask and you shall receive (again!). I’ve had so many requests to “clone” Frisch’s vegetable beef soup. And believe me, this is no easy task.
Would Frisch’s share the recipe? I called Karen Maier, VP/Marketing of Frisch’s who chuckled and said no, she wouldn’t divulge the recipe, but she did let me know that Frisch’s makes 10,000 gallons of this a week and it is a true, from scratch, soup, with bone marrow stock.
After talking with an employee about the long list of ingredients in the soup, I started experimenting. I came up with two versions: one long one that used bone marrow stock and a shorter version using beef roast. After so many tries that my family threatened to leave if they had to taste one more batch, I put the recipes in my syndicated column. Then I started getting calls about demonstrating the shorter version. So that’s why I’m sharing the recipe today.
Do your own thing here. I know the soup you get at Frisch’s has no visible meat in it, but my family likes it with chunks of beef and that’s why I’m putting it in. You can always leave the meat out entirely. If you want to use all frozen mixed vegetables and no soup vegetables, that’s OK. Or only one of the two is fine, also. That way you’ll have more broth and less veggies. Leave out the garlic? I wouldn’t, but you could use less or even none.
A couple of dashes of paprika added to my last batch created another layer of flavor. Add more beef broth or water to taste. Ditto with the seasonings. Add a pound or so of lean ground beef instead of the roast. Then you’re really veering off course – but it will still be delicious!
Vegetable Beef Soup
1 to 2 pounds trimmed chuck roast, cut into small pieces
1 generous cup chopped onion
1 generous teaspoon minced garlic
1 can, 14.5 oz, diced tomatoes
1 pound bag frozen soup vegetables
10-16 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
1 bay leaf (opt)
1/2 teaspoon or so dry thyme
2-4 cups vegetable juice (like V-8)
5-6 cans, 14.5 oz ea. beef broth
1 cup quick cooking barley or 1/2 cup quick cooking barley and 1/2 cup rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Water to taste
In a large pot, start browning the meat in a bit of olive oil. Or leave that step out and add everything but barley, rice and salt and pepper.
Regarding the vegetable juice and broth, start out with the lower amount and add more if you want. Bring to a boil and boil gently about 30 minutes or as long as an hour (by then the meat will start to fall apart). Add barley or barley and rice and cook another 15 minutes or so. Remove bay leaf and season to taste, adding water or more broth if necessary. A delicious vegetable beef soup that serves 8-10.