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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 pounds meaty beef shanks or bone-in chuck roast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces thick-sliced lean salt pork (about 5 slices) (optional)
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs each fresh parsley, thyme, and marjoram or oregano, chopped
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 cups canned tomato puree
  • 3 large ribs celery, peeled and diced
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium turnips, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 small green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced into 1-inch-long strips (about 3 cups)


  1. Melt butter in a large, heavy soup pot over medium-low heat. Add beef, season with salt and pepper, and lay pork (if using) over top. Scatter onion evenly over top, add bay leaves and chopped herbs, and cover tightly. Reduce the heat to low; simmer about 2 hours.
  2. Add water and tomato purée, increase heat to medium, and return to a simmer, skimming off any scum that rises. Add celery, carrots, turnips, parsnips and cabbage, return to a simmer, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer about 2 hours or until meat and vegetables are very tender.
  3. Remove and discard salt pork. Remove meat and cool slightly. Cut into bite-size pieces, cover and refrigerate until just before finishing the soup. Either skim off excess fat from top or let the soup cool, chill until the fat hardens (about 4 hours or overnight), lift off layer of fat, and discard.
  4. When ready to serve, return meat to the pot, and cook about 5 to 10 minutes over medium heat until heated through.
Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler.

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The recipe was originally published as Winter Vegetable Beef Soup on

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