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#JanStewary: Healthy (and SO Hearty!) Beef and Vegetable Stew

In an attempt to stay clearly “in my lane,” I am putting these soup posts on a Saturday instead of taking up a weekday decor/lifestyle spot. But, for those of you who are enjoying the benefits of the soup lifestyle (it’s not purees you guys, I promise), you’ll get new HEARTY soup recipes that we’ve tried and tweaked on Saturday mornings in time for you to make your shopping list and meal prep for the week. This might be the most genius blog idea I’ve come up with since Makeover Takeover, not because I invented the soup but because now I have an excuse on Fridays to stay at home for a few hours and cook (and shoot) and feed my staff.

Now, let me be clear: I am NOT a chef, nor will I ever be a food blogger. Hell, I basically just learned the incredibly relaxation value of cooking three months ago. But here I am, now, well, legitimately excited when the kids go down for me to set my laptop up to an easy-to-watch show and chop vegetables for an hour before I tuck myself in bed.

So today’s soup is in response to some of you who are concerned that only eating soup is weird/unhealthy. I fear that your concern came from not fully reading the post and so please realize that the soups we are talking about are basically the equivalent of eating a roasted chicken with vegetables covered in water. These are HEARTY AF. I haven’t even done a pureed soup yet. So far, all that we’ve recommended are chunky, full of so much protein and a ton of texture, crunch, dimension and then brightness and flavor. One caveat is that these are clean, meaning eliminating the dairy, grain, gluten, and most starches (with the occasional potato) and cooked the vegetables enough to digest and extract their nutrients so much easier.

Emily Henderson beef and vegetable soup

Writing this on Saturday means that I haven’t had anything but stews since last Sunday and I feel so great. No bloating, clothes are already looser in the areas that needed to be and my skin looks bright, etc.

So without further ado, here is today’s soup recipe (which is inspired by and adapted from this recipe from Cafe Delites, but tweaked a bit for our liking/souping needs). It’s grain-, dairy-, sugar- and gluten-free, full of lots and lots of veggies, and because of the steak and potatoes, it’s SO hearty. This is a one-bowl and done (okay, maybe two depending on how big your bowl is) type of stew. I find it easier to prep out all the veggies, measure out the spices and, you know…what they call in the culinary world, “mise en place.” That’s why the ingredients are listed out by category instead of in order of use…it felt more sensical to me that way for how I cook (and maybe you do, too?).



  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch of celery, chopped
  • 6 carrots (rainbow for more color!), diced
  • 1 small green cabbage chopped into bite-sized pieces (we did half green half purple for more color)
  • 1.5 cups fresh green beans, chopped into 1-in pieces
  • 1.5 cup of tiny rainbow potatoes, quartered
  • 1 head garlic minced

Herbs & Spices

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons each fresh chopped parsley, thyme, rosemary and oregano
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley for garnish 

Meat & Dry Goods

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1.5 lbs ribeye fillet steak, cut into 1-inch pieces (trimmed of visible fat)
  • 8 cups beef bone broth


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, add the beef and sear on all sides until brown, set aside.
  2. If the pot is dry, add a touch more oil. Add the onions, cook until transparent and cook until transparent (about 3-4 minutes), then add garlic (being careful not to burn it
  3. Add the celery, carrots, and potatoes to the pan, cook 3-4 mins, mixing occasionally
  4. Add the cabbage and green beans and cook for another 5 minutes, mixing all ingredients through
  5. Add bone broth, herbs and onion powder; mix well. Add browned beef.
  6. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium-low and cover, with a lid. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the cabbage and carrots are soft.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add in more herbs, if needed. Serve warm with a sprinkle of fresh parsley (if desired).

Emily Henderson Janstewary Healthiest Beef Stew Ever Saturation 2 1670x2338 1

It’s delicious, hearty and super filling. So I invited everyone from the office to come over and eat it (sorry, my two vegetarians).

Aside from soup, there are a handful of things I’m calling my “soup making essentials” and because many of you have asked on social what I’ve been using in the kitchen, we put this little roundup together to get anyone new to souping (cooking?) started. I myself am still new to this, but these are the things I pull out EVERY single time I make a pot (every day). Some are higher-end (like the knife) and others are more basic and budget-friendly. Let me know if you have any questions!

Emily Henderson Soup Saturday Emilys Essentials

Dutch Oven: I use this Dutch oven at the mountain house because it looks GOOD just sitting up on my stove (and for $45, it’s GREAT).

Knife: Emily B. bought this knife for me for Christmas and it happened to be the one that we also use in LA, so I brought it up to the cabin and it chops so well, clean and fast. I’m sure there are a million great knives out there, but this brand is GOOD so far (Arlyn—whose love of design is only rivaled by food and cooking—also swears by Zwilling and has had a set she loves hard for the last 9 years that are still going strong).

Cutting Board: This cutting board has a slot for your phone (on the other side) and catches the juice for roasts or juicy veggies on the other side. Designed by the ladies at Food52. Nice job. 🙂

Ladle: Yes to cool looking ladles. For months, I just used my 1-cup measuring cup as a ladle, but it seemed time to grow up a bit.

Glass Containers: I also didn’t realize the ease of only using glass containers to store my soup until recently. Using glass means the next day they can go straight into the microwave instead of transferring to a bowl. Rookie move, I know, but now I KNOW.

Measuring Cups: For measuring cups and measuring spoons, I use/love these from Target’s Hearth & Hand with Magnolia line mostly because they look awesome and are perfectly functional.

We’ll link up different tools every week (as well as recipes and recipe books), so please let us know what you are curious about. We’ll try to hit different budgets and styles, too.

If you are making soup this month (and it doesn’t have to be for EVERY meal either), don’t forget to tag me @em_henderson so I can see them and, of course, use the #JanSTEWary and #ShowEMyourSoup hashtags. We’ll repost some of them and if there are recipes you want us to try or you recommend, please DM us while you are souping.



Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.

55 thoughts on “#JanStewary: Healthy (and SO Hearty!) Beef and Vegetable Stew

  1. Thanks Emily! Double checking the recipe that it’s HEAD of garlic and not a CLOVE. That is a lot of garlic 🙂

      1. I love the gusto of generous ingredients. For me, soup making and recipes en generale are all about testing what works and if she calls for a bunch a celery, I’m here for it – and obvi modify if it’s not your bag.

    1. Click on the inspiration recipe, which calls for four cloves of garlic. I don’t have the time or the patience to peel all of the cloves in a head of garlic. Instead, I would slice the head of garlic in half, cutting through all of the cloves of garlic, and put that in the pot.

  2. I love your idea of moving your lifestyle posts to Saturday! I was previously in the camp of “not interested” in the lifestyle/ recipe posts. For some reason, moving them to Saturday just FITS and makes sense to me. Thanks for all your hard work!

  3. I’m making a beef stew myself this weekend. Loading it up with veggies. But I’m using a cheap cut of beef so it will have to cook long and slow to be tender. Happy souping! You’ve already inspired me to make more soups. Now if only I could stop snacking on sweets and the occasional handful of Cheez-Its, I might actually see the caloric benefits of soup. 😉

  4. Thanks for the soup posts! I’m form the PNW and realized a couple years ago that salads bore me during the colder months. Soups take their place until the temperatures rise. I will be trying these!

  5. I love this new series. I love making soup for myself (my husband prefers Campbell’s if you can believe it). It’s so fun to get some new recipes to try. I made two soups from your last post and will def make this one. My little soup trick is I always freeze a portion of every pot I make without a lane. I wind up with a freezer full of soup surprise!

  6. This could not come at a more perfect time.. I was recently diagnosed gluten/dairy intolerant, and am noticing that I feel EVEN BETTER if I also remove the other top allergens. Tried the turkey meatball soup from last week and even my husband said “I could eat that soup every day”.. excited to try this also!

  7. So excited to try this!! I’ve been telling my friends for years that the secret to successfully eating healthy is to have a big batch of homemade soup in the fridge. I’m so excited to refer them to you as further proof, ha!

  8. In an effort to “batch work” more and live a more minimal lifestyle, hubs and I have streamlined our food( my kids are adults so it’s just us and the dog). We have oatmeal for breaky, and do Sun Basket meal kits ( their lean/clean meals) for dinner ( no stuff. all packaging is recyclable).

    On the weekends, we eat dinner out.

    My struggle has always been work lunch-as a teacher, I have a whopping half-hour without kids, so it need to be something quick and nutritious.

    Yea soup! I am good with salad in warmer months, but winter+salad=no bueno for me. I saw the first post and though I’d try soup all week-I made a veggie soup with tri-color beans for protein and it was perfect! Easy to make, easy to take to work, good for the diet-thanks for the soup inspo!

  9. I like these on Saturdays too 🙂 I have a bunch of foods I can’t eat/digest so it’s kind of awesome to have a delicious new soup to try out/tweak showing up on my weekend feed, without googling AIP Paleo Stew! I’m making this tonight.

  10. Loving soup time! I’ve made a couple of them more gab once they are so

    Keep on sharing the soups!

  11. Bravo! We eat a lot of soup in this house, so Saturdays will be a treat for me. May I recommend for your first pureed soup, a carrot, white bean, ginger blend? It’s so good! You can find many variations of carrot/ginger, I add white beans to mine for plant based protein and use coconut milk.

  12. This stew looks delicious, and I’ll be sure to try it before winter’s over.

    When the season’s right, are you going to experiment with fruit soups? I love those in the summer. Maybe you can find a way to make them heartier and healthier!

  13. A whole HEAD of garlic? Could that be right?

    So curious about the use of a ribeye in this recipe. Seems like an expensive and rich cut for stew. Is it just so it will have a shorter cooking time?

    1. I agree about the rib eye – stew meat is called stew meat for a reason, it would be perfect for a recipe like this! Those little trimmings that make up stew meat are not necessarily lower quality pieces either, and it’s a good way to encourage less food waste! But hey, to each their own – I can always sub out when I make it.

      1. I generally use stew meat in soup and this week had some ribeye leftovers in the fridge that I thought would be a good, thrifty substitute. HOWEVER, I was really disappointed. The meat got tough and chewy sitting in the warm broth and ended up being far less tasty than the stew meat I would normally use. My kids actually refused to eat! The first bowls were fine so maybe throw the cooked meat in as you are serving?

  14. For sure going to make this soup, but would love to know where your apron is from, I’ve searched all over your blog – can’t find it!? Please & thanks!

  15. Great recipes and I like the idea but why do you have to refer to it as “clean” just because it’s grain, dairy, gluten free. The implication then is that other food is “dirty”, which is not the case. If you feel better not eating those things, that’s great but please don’t give it moral value. I know, I sounds like a painful witch – I’m not! Just someone who works in food media and is highly conscious of the words used around food. Anyway – I’m off to buy the ingredients to make this stew!

    1. Yes, thank you! Every body reacts differently to different foods. There is nothing wrong with avoiding grains but absolutely nothing “unclean” about eating them in their whole form if they work for your belly/body. Same with organic whole dairy, etc.

      Calling certain foods “clean” and others not makes this sound too ~fad diet~, which seems like the opposite of what the soup posts are trying to promote (healthy, whole foods in an easy prep method, right?) Let’s just let dairy and grains have the same respect as animal protein and veggies 🙁 even if you don’t want to eat them because they don’t work for your body.

  16. This sounds like a delicious soup. But, um, can we not refer to ‘clean’ eating? Dairy, grain, gluten, etc are not dirty. They can all be part of a healthy diet. If you don’t want to eat them, if that’s works for you, that’s fantastic – but it has no basis in actual nutritional science. And it’s so unhelpful to say something that pits your way of eating against somebody else’s. Plenty of us are trying to eat better, and there’s more than one path to that goal.

    1. Agree. Dairy, grain, gluten etc. are important components of a healthy diet, unless someone is allergic to any of them. That is why I said this soup diet is unbalanced. How could any diet be healthy that is restricted to consuming ONLY THIS OR THAT? No matter what….

      1. But there’s also breakfast and lunch. Each meal doesnt have to be balanced, as long as the whole day is. If you like you can cook some rice or beans or pasta on the side and add to your bowl of soup. Not much though. Carbs add up very quickly. But yes, i agree completely on the whole, eat everything in moderation diet.

    2. I agree. This idea of “clean” eating is too close to sin and virtue for me. And science really hasn’t yet proven that grains and dairy, in moderation, are bad for us. Maybe use different terms, i.e. the neutral “grain-free, dairy-free?”

      Also, soup is great, but maybe we can use the Samin Nosrat approach to food, i.e. it’s glorious and an inspiration for community, fun, and joy.

    3. Thank you, from a lover of soup and whole grains who doesn’t eat meat but wouldn’t ever imply that it’s not “clean.”

  17. Absolutely loving the soup series! Thank you! Perfect timing too. I have been making soup as a way to heal post baby delivery and continue to breastfeed my dairy and soy intolerant baby. Definitely on the soup train! Keep the recipes coming!

  18. It would make more sense to give a weight or some kind of measurement on things like the garlic and celery. It gives the cook an idea of what is normal for you and let him/her tweak it. Bunch is a bad description and can vary greatly. A head of garlic can vary in weight as well as 1 clove.

  19. Love this so much! If there’s any way to make it so we can click to print the recipe or save an image of the soup so we can pin (I see one but iPhone isn’t showing it as a pinnable photo when I try to save?) would be SO helpful. Ive tried 2 of your recipes already and they are definite keepers. Keep them coming!

  20. I eat soup almost every day!! It’s my favorite for our busy lifestyles so no worries on eating soup a lot!! Super healthy and filling. Love your blog and these recipes. You need to try Chef Nathan Lyons spicy sausage, kale and lentil soup it is amazing.

  21. Hello Emily,
    I love soups and stews, and have them 2-3 times per week. I’m excited to get more recipes, vegetables, beef, poultry, lamb, (no pork ), even fish, that you have. Please send via email as I don’t do facebook, etc. Too much GIGO, If you my meaning.
    Thanks so much, CAlex

  22. Love this post, even morebecause it’s on a Saturday. I’m already behind, as I planned to make teo soups from ladt weeks post. This one looks delocious as well

  23. I LOVE soups. Always have. However, as I aged I noticed my body didn’t appreciate the high sodium content in most soups. Even if you use low sodium stock it’s quite a bit of sodium per day especially if that’s all you are eating and I could definitely live on soup and soup alone. I may have to try souping for a few weeks and see if the sodium bothers me because these recipes look SO GOOD!

    1. Depending on the soup, many times I’ll just add water, or half water/half stock. I don’t think stock is always necessary in a soup, especially if you add lots of spices/herbs and you can add salt as needed.

    2. If the soup has meat in it, I generally do not use a canned or boxed stock. Instead, I buy the meat with bones still in it (chicken thighs with bone in), and use filtered water. Keep the thighs whole and as they cook the meat and bones will create their own broth. If you want a deeper flavored broth, brown the chicken thighs or other meat in the pot, remove the meat, and de-glaze the pan with a bit of white wine, or water, or apple cider.

      You can do this with a whole chicken, too, by poaching it in filtered water and whatever aromatics and herbs you want – the broth from a whole poached chicken is particularly delicious.

      For this soup. you could buy a beef soup bone and cook it with the soup to give flavor to your water only broth.

  24. Love you and love you posting hearty/easy recipes! As a note on user experience, your recipe formatting does not allow for an auto import to AnyList. It’s a very popular app for grocery lists/recipes so would be nice.

  25. Love that you’ve grouped all the vegetables together. Makes so much more sense to me!
    Also, am I the only one wondering what soup pun you are going to use for “February”??

  26. at the risk of sounding hella portland hipster…can i just HIGHLY recommend using wide-mouth canning jars for storage? They are SO multi-functional! And SO SO much easier to store. All the lids fit on all the containers! and they stack so nice! They easily hold liquids or solids! it’s seriously been LIFE CHANGING when it comes to food storage.

  27. I’d love to see vegetarian soup recipes! I love soup and love your blog! I just don’t love eating meat.

  28. I am here for JanSTEWary! I usually skip the lifestyle posts, but you’ve been so vocal about this on your social, that I’m into it. Saturdays is a nice compromise!

  29. “So today’s soup is in response to some of you who are concerned that only eating soup is weird/unhealthy. I fear that your concern came from not fully reading the post and so please realize that the soups we are talking about are basically the equivalent of eating a roasted chicken with vegetables covered in water. These are HEARTY AF. I haven’t even done a pureed soup yet. So far, all that we’ve recommended are chunky, full of so much protein and a ton of texture, crunch, dimension and then brightness and flavor. One caveat is that these are clean, meaning eliminating the dairy, grain, gluten, and most starches (with the occasional potato) and cooked the vegetables enough to digest and extract their nutrients so much easier.”

    I think you really missed the point of most of the comments criticizing “souping”. It’s not that you can’t have a hearty af soup… it’s that you are 1) limiting yourself to only one type of food and 2) moralizing the ingredients you are putting in the soup (e.g. lean meat is “clean” and grains “unclean”). It may all seem innocuous to you and that’s because diet culture is so pervasive. It really is a dangerous message to be propogating and I wish you would acknowledge that your platform is not an appropriate place to spread messages that promote disordered eating/orthorexic habits (

    It’s particularly discouraging that many of your readers took the time to really explain why they found your message to be problematic and you responded in a way that doesn’t feel particularly thoughtful nor does it address their actual concerns. Again, I welcome the soup recipes. In fact, I cooked one of your posted recipes just last night. It was delicious! Keep them coming. But please educate yourself on diet culture, Health at Every Size and the principles of Intuitive Eating. I love your site but I hate to see entire food groups demonized in the name of “clean eating”/”wellness”.

  30. Hi Emily, this looks great! I love a good soup as much as everyone else, but your language in this post is concerning. Asserting that dairy and grains are not “clean” is what I take issue with. You are of course welcome to eat however you like, but pushing diet culture on followers of a design blog is over the line.

    This kind of messaging is harmful. I hope you can take a look at how you’re presenting the soup content and do so in a healthier way. Keep the fun recipes coming! But please, leave the moral judgements about food and harmful language behind.

  31. The soups I’ve made from these posts so far, Simple Lemony Chicken and Spring Veggie Soup with Quinoa (SOOO GOOD) and the Detox Immune-boosting Soup ( sooo good) were amazing! I can’t wait to try this beef stew! Thanks so very much!!

  32. Oh FFS, how do you suffer some of your readers, Emily? It’s like some of them have never heard the general term of clean eating referring to eating food as closely found to its natural state and not refined in any way, which grains, sugars, gluten and dairy usually are to some extent. Instead they keep insisting its you making a moral judgement. You have patience and grace to keep putting out personal posts of trying to find what is good for your family. These people that take each one so personally is quite trying.

  33. The glass containers come in squares – which is actually better for store in the fridge – they organize better than rounds…just a thought

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