This homemade beef noodle soup has a luxuriously flavorful broth brimming with tender bites of beef, and hearty vegetables.
I had an epiphany the other day. I realized why my whole family likes soup so much. It is essentially a condiment for dipping bread! Plus, unlike a giant bowl of ketchup, no one looks at your funny if you keep eating it after the bread is gone. Though that doesn't really stop my daughter, she licks the ketchup right off her plate.
Quite honestly, this beef noodle soup is too good for words so I considered writing this great recipe in hieroglyphics but I couldn't find my chisel. I recommend visiting the grocer with the best bakery when shopping for ingredients because this is the perfect comfort food to dip freshly baked crusty bread into. The broth is intensely flavorful, and sopping it up is the best part!
Making a Slow Cooker Beef Noodle Soup
I thought about making this a slow cooker recipe, but the reason why this soup is so flavorful is because it is not simply a 'dump it and forget it' soup. Instead, it is a good idea to take a few quick steps to add layers of flavors that yield huge dividends! Simply adding all of the ingredients to the slow cooker would still work, but the flavor would be far more one-dimensional.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Beef chuck roast - A chuck roast is best because it is one of the least expensive cuts of beef, but you get wonderfully tender beef after a long simmer. It also has enough fat to add a lot of flavor to the soup. Any other beef stew meat can be substituted if needed though.
- All purpose flour
- Cooking oil - Any vegetable oil, such as olive oil, for searing.
- Onion - I recommend a sweet onion or yellow onion, however you can use a red onion if you crave a stronger flavor. For a fresher flavor you can even add some green onions at the end.
- Celery stalks
- Beef broth - Beef stock can be substituted.
- Worcestershire sauce - This is always a great match for beef, but it can be eliminated if you don't have it on hand.
- Bay leaves
- Fresh thyme - I strongly recommend using fresh herbs rather than dried thyme.
- Egg noodles - Any variety is fine. You can even substitute traditional pasta or rice noodles.
How to Make Beef Noodle Soup
The key component to infusing this broth with layers of flavor is searing the beef in a large pot. The cubed beef is tossed in flour then seared in oil over medium-high heat until brown crust that forms on the beef cubes. This is intensely flavorful and will add a lot of depth to this soup. The flour is also great for fortifying the delicious broth, giving it a more luxurious mouthfeel.
Once the beef is browned, it can be removed from your pot with a slotted spoon, and the heat can be turned down to medium. Next, the onions are sauteed, which will coax out a lot of additional sweetness that adds a nice complexity to the otherwise beefy broth.
Once tender, add the carrots and celery and continue to saute until the onions turn golden brown. Garlic can be added next and cooked until fragrant.
For the best flavor, deglazing the bottom of the pan is important because it loosens the burnt on fond and helps its flavors incorporate into the soup. To do this we add a splash of beef broth and scrape the bottom to loosen the browned bits. Now the beef can be returned to your large pot along with the remaining beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme, and black pepper.
Your homemade beef noodle soup can now be brought to a low simmer. Cover the soup pot and cook for three hours, or until the beef is delectably tender. The egg noodles are added in the final ten minutes so they do not overcook. Finally, ladle the hot soup into bowls and serve with fresh bread.
My favorite pot to use for this comforting soup is my Dutch Oven. The wide opening makes it ideal for browning beef and sauteeing vegetables while its thick sides are perfect for holding a slow simmer all afternoon! Whenever possible I like to brown the meat in the pot I plan to cook the soup in. This helps ensure the flavor from every bit of cooked on fond from the meat browning will get incorporated into the soup.
Ways to customize this soup
- Add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste for more acidity and body.
- A tablespoon of brown sugar can be added for sweetness.
- This is the beef version of chicken noodle soup, so there is no reason you can substitute chicken meat instead. I would recommend using dark meat.
- Make this a spicy beef noodle soup by adding crushed red peppers.
Storing this soup
This is actually a great meal to make a day in advance. The flavors of this soup will continue to meld overnight in the refrigerator! Simply store it in an airtight container then when you are ready to serve it can be reheated in a saucepan or in the microwave. For the freshest flavor, I would enjoy it within three days.
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Beef Noodle Soup
- 1.5 pounds beef chuck roast (cut into ½" cubes)
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 carrots (chopped)
- 2 celery stalks (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 7 cups beef broth
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 ½ cups Egg noodles
- salt to taste
- Toss the cubed beef with flour to ensure it is evenly coated.
- Heat oil in a large Dutch Oven set on medium high and heat until shimmering. Add beef, let cook without stirring until brown crust forms. Stir once to flip beef and brown again.
- Remove beef from pot, turn down to medium heat, add additional oil if needed, and saute the onions until tender.
- Once onions become tender, add carrots and celery and continue to saute until onions begin to turn golden.
- Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add a splash of beef broth into the pot and scrap the bottom to loosen any cooked-on fond (burnt bits) at the bottom of the pot. Once fond has been incorporated into the broth add the beef back into pot, along with remaining beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme, and black pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 3 hours, or until the beef is tender.
- Add dry egg noodles in final 10 minutes of cooking (or length of time listed on the package instructions).
- Ladle soup into bowls and serve with freshly baked crusty bread.
This recipe was originally published December 6, 2017 on FoxValleyFoodie.com.