Sean Patrick’s Beef Vegetable Soup


“[My wife] and I both are fans of homemade soup,” says Sean. “I like to make soup about once every two weeks. Have enough for a couple of days. The beef vegetable soup that we serve; her father used to rave about it. He used to say, (in an Irish brogue) ‘That’s eatin’ and drinkin’!.” Thanks to Sean, you now can make this delicious soup at home:

  • 1 to 1 and 1/2 lbs. beef shank meat with some bones
  • onion salt
  • 2 cups ea: (the measure “cups” is relative. Use as much as you want.)
  • diced onions
  • cubed rutabaga
  • celery (lots of celery leaves chopped in, too!)
  • sliced carrots
  • diced potatoes
  • 1/2 small cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium and 1 small can of whole, peeled tomatoes (kind of squish them, too)
  • 1 good handful of medium barley


  1. Boil the shank meat and bones in about 4 qts. water. Season liberally with onion salt while this is boiling. The meat will fall off the bones when it has boiled enough.
  2. Pull meat and bones out of stock and cool stock. While this is cooling, cut shank meat into cubes and discard as much fat as you can get off. When stock is cool, you can skim out excess fat. I usually let this stock sit in the refrigerator overnight and then continue making the soup the next day.
  3. Boil rutabaga separately in a quart of water. This take longer to cook than the other vegetables.
  4. Bring stock to another boil and put onions, celery, and carrots in the pot. Add 1 medium and one small can of whole, peeled tomatoes with juice to pot. Put the handful of medium barley in the pot. When carrots are tender, add cooked rutabaga (with water it was cooked in), cabbage, and potatoes to pot. Cook slowly until it smells too good to ignore. Season with salt, onion salt, and pepper.
  5. Serve with thick slices of French bread, liberally buttered. If you can bake your own bread you can use that and be way ahead of the game.

NOTE: The soup is even better the second day, so make enough for a couple of good meals.

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