I've always loved a good Vegetable Beef Soup, but this is the first time trying one in the pressure cooker. WOW! It's so much faster, tastier, and the meat is so tender.
The key a good soup is the broth. The perfect beef broth for a vegetable beef soup has a richness to it that you can't get from plain beef stock. When I used to make beef soup, I would simmer beef with bones and some beef fat for hours and hours to develop the flavor.
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Now, it's super easy to do by using your electric pressure cooker. I used the Ninja Foodi 6.5qt in this recipe, but any electric pressure cooker will work just fine.
There are several different ways to develop the flavor in your broth and I will go over them below.
What Can I use for the Broth?
If you have a homemade bone broth that is rich and full of flavor, you can absolutely use that. You would then skip the first part of the recipe where the broth is cooked with the beef ribs and vegetables. Increase the beef to about 1½ pounds and use a cut that will cook in 2 minutes when in 1" cubes.
You can even purchase some quality bone broths at the grocery store, but they are a little pricey and not as good as homemade or making a quick broth like I do in this recipe.
You can also simply use beef stock/broth and make the soup. It will be fine, just not as flavorful as making a quick broth yourself.
Can I use Water instead of Beef Broth/Stock when making the broth?
You can if you have more beef bones to flavor the water and want to spend the time making a true bone broth.
In this recipe, the 1 pound of beef with bones is not enough to flavor water and create the depth of flavor for the vegetable beef soup. The 30-minute PC time also isn't enough, so it's best to start with beef broth or stock for the best flavor.
If you had 4 pounds of beef bones and wanted to make a bone broth, I would add about 6 cups of water to that, along with triple the salt, pepper, thyme and double the vegetables. PC for 90 minutes with a full natural release and your broth should be rich and delicious to use as the base for your soup.
What is the BEST cut of Beef for my Soup?
I used two different cuts in the vegetable beef soup each time I tested it, but I varied the cuts to try to figure out what works best.
For the fattier cut of beef that is used to flavor the broth at the beginning, I tried oxtails and beef short ribs. Both worked, but I found the broth made from oxtails was much fattier and the meat was almost impossible to get off of the bone.
Had I cooked it longer, that wouldn't have been an issue and I also think the quality of my oxtails is in question because they had very little meat on them to begin with.
When I made the vegetable beef soup with beef short ribs, it was perfect. The meat is easy to get off of the bone, very tender, and the broth had the perfect depth of flavor and richness.
There are two different styles of Beef Ribs and you can use either in this recipe.
English Cut: These are the beef short ribs I used have a large piece of meat on the top of the bone. If you can find this cut, I recommend using them because it will be much easier for you get the meat off the bone and back into the soup.
Flanken Cut: These are cut across the bone and flat in appearance. You can certainly use them and they will give you the great flavor, but it might be a little harder to get the meat off and remove the bones and connective tissue.
I also used a second cut of beef that is leaner and added during the second PC time in this recipe. I suggest using both a fatty cut and a leaner cut for the best outcome, but If you wanted to use several pounds of short ribs, you certainly can.
The broth will be much fattier, so you might want to let it chill and remove the fat layer on top before proceeding to make the soup.
I would choose a cut of beef with a bone for the fattier cut and boneless for the leaner cut. You can use something like a boneless chuck roast, but you will have a very fatty broth that should be chilled and the fat layer removed.
I used several different cuts for the leaner beef that is cubed and added in before the second pressure cook and they all worked just fine.
The ones I tried are; Flank Steak, Top Sirloin, and what is called a London Broil in the grocery stores in the US.
They all worked just fine. Almost any lean cut of beef will work and be tender in the short PC time because it is cut into 1" cubes.
What Vegetables Are Best To Add to the Vegetable Beef Soup?
Anything you want! That's the beauty of soup, you can add or omit anything you want.
The only thing to keep in mind is how the vegetables will cook in 2 minutes of PC time.
I used a combination of fresh and frozen vegetables, adding the fresh vegetables before the 2 minute PC time and the frozen vegetables after the PC time and used sear/sauté to soften them.
This was ONLY because I wanted vibrant green beans and PC'ing them caused them to darken quite a bit. You can see the difference below in the picture. There wasn't any issue with texture and the vegetables were not mushy when PC'd, so this was strictly about looks.
The size of the vegetables will make a difference in how they cook, so if you add in carrots that are cut in ½-1" rounds, they are fine PC'd for 2 minutes. However, if you like your carrots sliced very thin, they will cook much faster and should be added after the PC time and use the sear/sauté to cook them when the PC time is up.
Fresh green beans can be added and will probably be fine in the 2 minute PC time, but they will darken some.
You can add the tomatoes before the PC time, I just forgot and added them afterwards. Either way is fine. You can also omit the tomatoes and no other changes are needed.
If you wanted to add cabbage to the soup, it will be fine to add before the 2 minute PC time.
You can also use canned vegetables, just drain the liquid from them. I would add the canned vegetables after the PC time and use sear/sauté to heat them through.
As far as potatoes go, I recommend using yukon gold in soups and stews because they hold their texture better. New potatoes would also hold up fine in the vegetable beef soup.
If you wanted to use Russets, and don't want them to fall apart, you can either cut them bigger or add them after the 2 minute PC time and use the sear/sauté and simmer until they are cooked the way you like them.
Russets tend to fall apart and they thicken the soup slightly when PC'd. I did a test batch with them and they were fine, but very soft and the soup was slightly thicker.
How to Make Vegetable Beef Soup in the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot
Even if you don't have the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot, you can still make this recipe in any electric pressure cooker.
The first step is to create the base for your soup and that's the broth. To make a really flavorful broth, I used 1 pound of short ribs seasoned with salt and pepper and seared in a little oil.
Take your short ribs out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you are ready to make your soup if you can. If not, it's not a big deal.
Turn the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot on sear/sauté on high. Add about a Tablespoon of olive oil or whatever oil you like to cook with. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper on all sides.
I like to take 1 teaspoon of fine grind sea salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper and mix it in a small bowl. I use about half of it to season the ribs and add the remaining salt and pepper to the pot before pressure cooking.
When the pot is hot, but not smoking, add in the ribs and sear them on all sides. It takes about 45-60 seconds or so per side to get a nice sear. I also make sure I put the ribs towards the side of the inner pot where the oil is collecting.
If you meet resistance when trying to flip your ribs, leave them alone for another 30-60 seconds and try again. They will lift up without any effort when the sear is complete.
Once the ribs are seared on all sides, add in the onion quartered, 2 carrots cut in half and 2 stalks of celery. You don't even have to peel the carrots!
Add in the Beef broth/stock and make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure nothing is sticking. If anything is stuck to the bottom, it could trigger the water notice (burn notice on IP's).
Add in the remaining salt and pepper mix, 2 bay leaves and the thyme. Place the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure to high for 30 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pot to natural release fully. This usually takes about 30 minutes.
The beauty of using the pressure cooker is you can confidently walk away and you do not have to worry about anything. Even if you are gone for a few hours, the pot will simply switch to keep warm and you can resume making the soup when you are ready.
Remove the short ribs and place them on a cutting board or on a plate. Remove the large vegetables and strain the broth with a colander over a bowl. Press the vegetables to remove as much broth as you can.
What I'm using is a colander that is also a measuring cup placed into a larger glass measuring cup.
Here are the links if you want to check them out ⬇︎⬇︎⬇︎
(affiliate link)Easy Read Measuring Colander
(affiliate link)Small Batter Bowl
I've found that after the PC time, you will have about 3 cups of broth and that is perfect for our soup.
Pour the broth back into the inner pot and discard the cooked vegetables. Add the short ribs back into the pot.
Cut up the leaner beef you are using into about 1" cubes and season with ½ teaspoon fine grind sea salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Add to the inner pot.
Cut the carrots into about ½" circles, cut the celery into about ½" slices and add to the pot. Dice the onion into ¼-½" dice and add to the pot.
Cut the potatoes into about 1" pieces and add to the pot.
You can add the canned tomatoes now or wait until after the PC time, either works just fine. Give a good stir and put the pressure lid on. Turn the valve to seal and set the pressure on high for 2 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pot to Natural Release for 10 minutes and then manually release the remaining pressure.
Remove the beef short ribs from the pot and place on a cutting board. Turn the Ninja Foodi to sear/sauté on medium.
Add in 2 cups of frozen vegetables and the can of fire roasted tomatoes if you didn't add them before the PC time.
Remove the meat from the short ribs and return the meat to the soup. Simmer on medium until the vegetables are cooked to your liking. This took about 5 minutes for me.
Stir the soup and taste for seasonings. Adjust as needed.
Serve & Enjoy!
Vegetable Beef Soup ~ Pressure Cooker Recipe
- Electric Pressure Cooker
For the Soup Stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb short ribs
- 1 teaspoon fine grind sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 onion quartered
- 2 carrots cut in half
- 2 stalks celery cut in half
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
For the Vegetable Beef Soup
- 1 lb top sirloin see post for other options
- ½ teaspoon fine grind sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 carrots cut into ½" circles
- 2 stalks celery cut into ½" pieces
- 1 onion ¼-½" dice
- 1 lb Yukon gold potatoes
- 14.5 ounces fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
To Make the Beef Stock
- Remove the short ribs from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before making the soup.
- Turn the sear/sauté on high and add olive oil. Season the ribs on both sides with the salt and pepper mix. Reserve any that is left over. When the oil is hot, sear the ribs on all sides. This only takes 3-5 minutes.
- Add in the quartered onion, 2 carrots cut in half, 2 stalks of celery cut in half. Deglaze the pot with 2 cups of beef broth and scrape the bottom to make sure nothing is stuck.
- Add the left over salt and pepper. Add the thyme leaves and the 2 bay leaves. Place the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure on high for 30 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pot to natural release fully. This takes about 30 minutes.
- Remove the short ribs and set aside for later. Remove the large vegetables and strain the broth through a colander into a bowl. Press the vegetables to extract all the broth. Discard the vegetables.
To Make the Vegetable Beef Soup
- Pour the broth back into the inner pot and add back in the short ribs.
- Cube the steak into about 1" chunks. Season with ½ teaspoon of fine grind sea salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Add to pot.
- Cut the carrots and celery into ½" pieces and add to the pot. Dice the onion into ¼-½" dice and add to the pot. Add in the tomatoes now or you can wait until after the PC is done. Cube the potatoes into about 1" pieces and add to the pot.
- Place the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure to high for 2 minutes. When the time is up, let the pot natural release for 10 minutes and then manually release the remaining pressure.
- Stir in the frozen vegetables and the tomatoes if you didn't add them earlier and use the sear/sauté on medium to simmer the soup until the vegetables are cooked to your liking. This took about 5 minutes for me.
- Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. Serve & Enjoy
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
She published her first cookbook in the Fall of 2018 and is very interested in writing several more.
Louise is also the creator of an online Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Course with over 100 instructional step-by-step videos. People absolutely rave about the course and all the value they have received from it.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can. Get more Information about Louise & contact information
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