Italian Beef Soup (Brodo di Carne) is filled with tender, slow-cooked chuck roast, vegetables, and herbs simmered in a rich, flavorful broth. Make it even heartier by adding orzo or pastina and topping with finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cook this soup low and slow for hours, resulting in mouthwatering broth and fall-apart beef.
Italian Beef Soup or Brodo di Carne is a slow-cooked soup rich in flavor and warms up the coldest nights. Each bite is filled with golden broth, bits of tender beef, tender orzo, and melted cheese. The carrots, onion, and celery creates the foundation for the broth. The ripened Roma tomatoes add color and give the broth a golden tint. Parsley gives the broth a peppery, earthy flavor. Beef chuck is the star of the show, with meat that falls apart in every bite.
The soup only takes a few minutes of prep and it cooks without effort for 4 hours. A large batch of brodo is a great meal for a large family and yields plenty of leftovers for smaller households.
Ingredients for Italian Beef Soup (Brodo di Carne)
- Chuck roast - Chuck roast is the best cut for low and slow cooking. It creates a flavorful broth and withstands hours of cooking.
- Carrots - Carrots add a hint of sweetness to the broth.
- Celery - Celery works with the carrots to create a vegetal flavor.
- Onion - Onion is an aromatic that enhances the broth.
- Roma tomatoes - Tomatoes add color and depth to the golden broth.
- Parsley - Parsley adds an earthy, peppery flavor that enhances the beef flavor.
- Kosher salt - Kosher salt is a coarse salt that does not have additives. Always use kosher or sea salt.
- Orzo - Orzo is a small pasta that can fit in each spoonful of soup. Alternatives for orzo include pastina, spaghetti spezzati, and ravioli.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano - Parmigiano-Reggiano adds a level of umami to the brodo. Use a microplane grater to make the cheese finely grated and easily meltable.
Equipment to Make Brodo
Italian Beef Soup (Brodo di Carne) requires a few kitchen essentials used for many other common recipes. To make this recipe, you will need a knife, cutting board, large dutch oven or large soup pot, saucepan, ladle, microplane grater, and bowls.
This Staub Coq Au Vin Dutch Oven is one of our most used investment pieces that we use to make soups, like Traditional Bolognese Sauce (Ragù alla Bolognese) and Healthy Penne alla Vodka, sides like Mashed Potatoes with Miso Butter, and meat like Roasted Chicken with Meyer Lemon. To explore more kitchen items to make your kitchen complete, head to our Kitchen Essentials Shop.
How to Make Vegetable Beef Soup from Scratch
To make Italian meat soup, follow these easy steps:
- Prepare water - Add water to a large pot or dutch oven and cook on medium heat.
- Add ingredients - Add kosher salt, vegetables, parsley, and beef to the pot.
- Simmer the soup - Turn the heat down to low-medium and allow the soup to simmer for 4 hours with the lid on, giving the soup an occasional stir.
- Remove the lid - At the 3 hour mark, remove the lid and allow the soup to simmer for one more hour.
- Cook the orzo - As the soup finishes cooking, cook the orzo in a separate pot and stir gently. Allow the water to return to a boil. Cook until al dente, or 8-9 minutes, and stir occasionally. Drain the orzo and set aside.
- Remove onion, celery, and parsley - After the fourth hour, remove the soup from the heat. Remove the onion, celery, and parsley from the soup.
- Shred the beef - Carefully take the beef out and place it in a large shallow bowl. Place two forks in a portion of the meat facing away from each other. Gently pull the forks in opposite directions, breaking up the meat into shards with each pull. Place the meat back into the soup.
- Plate and serve - Add orzo to the soup bowls, then use a ladle to serve soup to each bowl. Serve immediately with finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
What Cut of Beef is Best for Beef Soup?
Chuck roast is the best cut for beef soup. This cut results in tender, fall-apart beef that is flavorful and scooped by the spoonful. Chuck roast is a tougher cut of meat. It withstands hours of cooking, and becomes more and more tender and creates a deeply delicious broth.
How to Store and Reheat Brodo
Store soup in its pot or in a container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow soup to reach room temperature before storing in the refrigerator. Freeze the brodo up to 3 months in an air-tight container, like this reusable silicone freezing tray, or storage bag.
Store leftover orzo and soup in separate containers, otherwise the orzo will absorb the soup.
To reheat refrigerated or frozen soup, place desired amount in a pot and cook on low-medium heat. Heat the soup until it reaches desired temperature. In a separate small pot, reheat leftover orzo with a little water or make an entirely new a batch of orzo or pastina. Serve in bowls with grated cheese.
What to Prepare with Italian Beef Soup (Brodo di Carne)
Here are some delicious ways to serve Brodo di Carne:
- Pastina - Pastina is the perfect pasta for beef soup. Add any type of al dente small pasta, including orzo, pastina, ditalini, farfalline, and more.
- Ravioli - Prepare fresh or dried ravioli and serve it with brodo and grated cheese.
- Spaghetti Spezzati - Spaghetti Spezzati literally translates to "broken spaghetti" in Italian. Simply take some spaghetti and break it into 1-inch pieces to make spaghetti spezzati with brodo di carne.
Italian Beef Broth (Brodo di Carne) with Orzo
- 2 lb Chuck roast
- 3 carrots cut in 2-inch pieces
- 3 celery stalks cut in half widthwise
- 2 Roma tomatoes cut in half
- ½ medium onion or one small onion, cut in half
- 1 bunch parsley
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 3½ qt water
- 1 lb Orzo
Italian Beef Broth (Brodo di Carne)
- Add water to a large pot or dutch oven and cook on medium heat.
- Add kosher salt, vegetables, parsley, and beef to the pot.
- Once the water reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low-medium and allow the soup to simmer for 4 hours with the lid on, giving the soup an occasional stir.
- At the 3 hour mark, remove the lid and allow the soup to simmer for one more hour.
- Once the soup is done cooking, remove the soup from the heat. Remove the onion, celery, and parsley from the soup.
- Carefully take the beef out and place it in a large shallow bowl. Place two forks in a portion of the meat facing away from each other. Gently pull the forks in opposite directions, breaking up the meat into shards with each pull. Place the meat back into the soup.
- Add orzo to the soup bowls, then use a ladle to serve soup to each bowl.
- Serve immediately with finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- As the soup finishes cooking, take large saucepan or pot and add 4 - 6 quarts of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and add a pinch of salt. Add orzo to the pot and stir gently. Allow the water to return to a boil. Cook until al dente, or about 8-9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the orzo and set aside.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove