Slow Cooked Beef and Tomato Soup

1:34 am on 15 May 2010

A substantial beefy soup, perfect for Autumn eating! This is probably one of my favourite soups. It is based on the French Pot-au-feu but I brown the meat first and I like the addition of tomato.


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 30g butter
  • 3 - 4 pieces circle of beef shin with bone attached
  • 3 large onions, peeled, diced
  • 2 large leeks, well cleaned, cut into rings
  • 3 carrots, peeled, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 400g tin diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 litre water (approx.)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp New Zealand sea salt


  • handful parsley, chopped
  • spinach or silverbeet, finely sliced
  • 400g tin Lima or cannelloni beans (optional)


Preheat a large, straight sided, heavy saucepan. Over a high heat add oil and when hot add butter. At the point at which the butter has stopped sizzling (listen carefully), place the circles of beef shin in and brown first side. This will take about 5 minutes. Turn meat and brown second side. Remove from pan.

Add prepared vegetables, reduce heat and gently sauté for approximately 10 minutes. Replace beef in pan and cover with water - you may need more than 1 litre. Increase temperature and bring to the boil, watch carefully and as the liquid comes to the boil, remove scum as it comes to the surface with a large spoon. Repeat a couple of times - you are removing any impurities.

Add tomatoes, seasonings, and herbs. Gently slow simmer broth 4-5 hours, until the meat is falling off the bone.

Just prior to serving I add a generous handful of chopped parsley and finely sliced evergreen spinach - which I have in the garden. Silverbeet would do just as well. If the flavour is a bit weak, add powdered beef stock and more salt. If suddenly more people arrive add another tin of tomatoes and I like the added body that cooked Lima or Cannelloni beans give. If I'm feeling very decadent I serve the soup with grated cheese in a separate bowl.

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

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