Hearty Beef Soup with Brussels Sprouts

This recipe is a perfect one-pot meal. It is also quite simple to prepare – and did I mention gluten-free? In fact, the only grain in this soup is corn, whose omission would not compromise the recipe one bit. Makes 8-10 servings.
September 15, 2015


In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, melt bacon fat until it glistens. Add half the meat in a single layer and let it cook undisturbed for 3 minutes, until browned. Use a spatula to flip meat over. Repeat, browning meat on all sides, then transfer to a plate and set aside. Add remaining half of meat and repeat browning process. Once all the meat is browned, return it all to the pot and lower heat to medium.

Add onion and celery to pot and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until fragrant.

Add 2 cups of stock and use a spatula to scrape browned bits from the bottom of the soup pot. Add remaining 6 cups stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a rolling simmer. Cover and simmer for 1 to 4 hours; additional time simply yields more tender meat.

After simmering, add cabbage and carrots to the pot. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat to a rolling simmer, and simmer for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, add all the remaining ingredients, except the spinach. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat to a rolling simmer, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Right before serving, stir fresh spinach into the simmering soup. Turn off the heat, wait 5 minutes, and serve.

Recipe excerpted from Back to Butter: A Traditional Foods Cookbook (Fair Winds Press, 2014) by Molly Chester and Sandy Schrecengost.

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  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 2 pounds grass-fed stew beef, cut into bitesize chunks and thoroughly patted dry
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery, with leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 8 cups homemade beef stock (see linked recipe)
  • 2 cups diced green cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced carrot
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups halved Brussels sprouts
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cauliflower florets (about 1 small head)
  • 1 cup diced zucchini (about 1 medium)
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 dashes cayenne pepper, optional
  • 5 ounces roughly chopped fresh spinach
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