The best vegetable beef soup is meaty and deeply aromatic. It doesn’t ever taste watery—every drop of broth is full of robust flavor. Beef and vegetables should work together to produce a light yet hearty and savory soup that’s fully comforting. The market is admittedly thin, but there are five canned vegetable and beef soup brands we stand by.
Vegetable and beef soup sounds a bit redundant to me. I mean, what soup is just straight beef—know what I mean? There’s not a soup on earth that doesn’t feature some vegetables. And yet, it’s not called clam and vegetable soup, or chicken, noodle, and vegetable soup. But if it was just called beef soup that somehow would imply a big hunk of beef simmering in just liquid. Buddy, that’s called meat water and it’s the type of thing serial killers drink.
For this test, I prepared and ate nine different cans of beef and vegetable soup. The list was thin, but there’s really not a lot of variety of vegetable beef soup available at the moment. I looked for hearty, good quality beef, a well-seasoned broth, and delicious, tasty vegetables. The best beef and vegetable soup should be savory, salty, and seasoned well with good veg. These four were pretty good—but we’re still hunting for the ideal can.
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- Progresso Beef & Vegetable
I really enjoy Progresso beef and vegetable soup for what it is. It’s not this amazingly hearty soup that’s jam packed with beef, but it doesn’t need to be because the beef flavor permeates every drop. I appreciate the diversity of vegetables, too—carrots, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, and onion all work together to provide a robust flavor. There’s a faint garlic flavor here too that adds a welcome pungent punch. Also, this soup isn’t overloaded with sodium (a big problem with canned soup). I love that it’s subtle and shows restraint. This might not be the best vegetable beef soup in the world, but it’s the best one we’ve tasted so far.
- Campbell’s Chunky Beef with Country Vegetables
Campbell’s Chunky beef soup is quite hearty and features thick cuts of potato, carrots, and beef. The dark broth is a little on the thick side, too—I’m guessing due to the thickening agents like corn starch and tomato puree listed in the ingredients. For those reasons, this is quite stew-like. It’s thick and hearty and quite filling. The vegetables are predominantly carrots and potatoes, which is a little bit bland, but there’s some celery, peas, and green beans allegedly in there, too. It’s not loaded with quality beef, which is a bummer, but this will fill you up. Watch out for the sodium, though: There’s 1,870 mg in a can.
- Campbell’s Chunky Old Fashioned Vegetable Beef
This soup reminds me of something homemade. Why? Well, first of all, the beef is very tender. So many canned beef and vegetable soups feature tough, rehydrated chunks of beef that are processed and chewy. Then, the vegetable selection includes mainstays like carrots, potatoes, and green beans, but also corn, which has a nutty and buttery crunch. The whole soup is warm and nourishing. You could argue that it’s a bit bland, but I love the addition of corn, and the celery flavor offers some nice aromatics, too. This is a good soup to smell. And honestly, if you’re not smelling your soup, you’re doing it all wrong, man.
- Progresso Savory Beef Barley Vegetable
This is not the best beef and vegetable soup. The beef is really dry and the vegetables don’t pack too much flavor, but the barley launches it into “meal” territory. It’s really filling. This is a can of soup you can eat and actually feel like your hunger pangs have been quelled. Don’t bother pairing it with a sandwich; you won’t need it.
Best of the Best
Best Almost Homemade
Best to Fill You Up
Other products we tried: Great Value Condensed, Campbell’s Condensed, Campbell’s Chunky Sirloin Burger, Gardein, Progresso Beef Pot Roast.
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