Mom’s Vegetable Beef Soup is loaded with ground beef, an assortment of veggies and cauliflower rice; cooked in a savory broth-easy to freeze!

holding a bowl of Mom's Vegetable Beef Soup

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Now that my husband and I are empty nesters, we’re much better about “eating down the fridge.” One of my go-to recipes is to make a big pot of veggie soup. Today’s basic Mom’s Vegetable Beef Soup recipe has become our favorite.

We’ve also made a simple invite and shared a couple of bowls with our friends. Soup and salad and hot crunchy bread? The perfect weeknight dinner!

Mom’s Vegetable Beef Soup

My Mom’s Old-Fashioned Vegetable Beef Soup is one of my all-time favorite soup recipes. It’s a super simple recipe, and I also call it a “fridge-dump” soup, that I love to make to clean out the fridge! And here’s another one of our favorite recipes: Skinnytaste’s Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup.

dutch oven of Mom's Vegetable Beef Soup

When I think of my favorite soups, my mind immediately turns to this one.

Ingredients for Vegetable Beef Soup:

  • Ground beef
  • Olive oil
  • Onion, shallots, garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Zucchini and squash (we buy the organic bag at Costco)
  • Beef stock
  • Cauliflower rice (we buy frozen at Trader Joe’s or Costco)
  • Sweet potatoes (optional)
  • Trader Joe’s vegetable melange (frozen)
  • Cumin + basil (or your favorite spices)
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Parsley (optional)

If you love cauliflower, like we do, you may also want to try this Cauliflower White Cheddar Cheese Soup.

pot of Mom's Vegetable Beef Soup

How to serve Vegetable Beef Soup

This recipe is perfectly hearty and filling, and versatile, so feel free to replace the veggies with others you may have on hand. For example, if you don’t have the squash, add broccoli.

We love a bowl of soup with a dab of sour cream, and maybe fresh herbs on top.

Always fresh cracked pepper.

Serve with a side salad and warm crunchy bread with butter!

Also, feel free to swap out the spices for the ones you love!

close up pot of Mom's Vegetable Beef Soup

What herbs and spices should every kitchen have?

Number one is to keep a bottle of red pepper flakes on hand, whether you’re making homemade soup, pasta sauce, or a cheese melt. A sprinkle or a dash in what you’re cooking always gives a kick or some heat to your meal.

  • Garlic powder
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Red chilies
  • Ground cumin
  • Onion powder

a bowl of Mom's Vegetable Beef Soup

How to make Vegetable Beef Soup – variations

Don’t be afraid to use frozen vegetables! I actually prefer to keep a few bags from Trader Joe’s in the freezer, so I always have them on hand.

If you’re not a tomato-base fan, then skip the tomatoes!

Also, if you’re skipping the carbs, leave out the sweet potatoes.

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Simple weeknight bowl of soup

It’s funny, how on the weekend we tend to get a little fancier with our cooking, or at least I do. I guess it’s because I have more time to cook and plan. Weeknights are simple, like tacos, soup, or throw something on the grill.

What I love about hospitality is that it’s really about the spirit of being hospitable, when you make that invite. It doesn’t have to be a perfectly planned meal with a perfectly clean house and a perfectly set table.

Perfectionism is downright selfish.

What really draws people together is genuine love and authenticity!

We’ve have had some of the most meaningful conversations around a casual meal, a last-minute invite—in this case, an easy bowl of soup!

Recipes to serve with Vegetable Beef Soup:

Honey Apple Gluten-Free Muffins

Apple Pie Bars with Crumb Topping

Apple Goody Dessert

Salted Caramel Apple Cake

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  • 1 ¼ lbs. ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 small zucchini or yellow squash, diced
  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes (optional)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes (optional)
  • 1 pound cauliflower rice, frozen
  • 16 oz Trader Joe’s vegetable melange, frozen
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp basil
  • Sprinkle red chili flakes, optional
  • cup chopped fresh parsley, garnish (optional)


  • In a large Dutch oven, cook the ground beef until cooked through, on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes. Salt and pepper; remove from the heat and set aside. Dab ground beef dry with paper towels to remove any grease.
  • In the same Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and add the onion and shallots; cook until tender and clear, 4-5 minutes on medium heat. At the end, add in the garlic and cook for additional 1 minute. Add in the squash and cook until tender, another 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour in the beef stock, and add the ground beef back into the pot. If you want a tomato base soup, add the tomatoes. Heat to a robust boiling, and then turn down to simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the sweet potatoes and simmer for 5-7 minutes, until tender (but not overcooked). Or, if you are not adding sweet potatoes, skip this step.
  • Add the cauliflower rice, frozen vegetables, and seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in parsley (optional) and serve warm.


Recipe notes:
Mix and match your favorite spices for this soup.
Fresh corn and peas and green beans can be used as well.
Cuisine: American
Course: Soup
Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!

close up bowl of Mom's Vegetable Beef Soup