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.
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.
- Chuck roast - Chuck roast is the best cut for low and slow cooking. It creates a flavorful broth, withstands hours of cooking, and is much more tender than typical stew meat or ground beef.
- 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.
- Prepare water - Add water to a large pot or dutch oven and cook on medium heat. Add celery, tomatoes, carrots, onion, Italian flat leaf parsley, and chuck roast to the pot. (Photo 1 and 2)
- Season soup - Season with kosher salt. (Photo 3)
- 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. (Photo 4)
- Remove the lid - At the 3 hour mark, remove the lid and allow the soup to simmer for one more hour. Skim any scrum with a spoon and discard.
- 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.
Equipment to Make Brodo
Italian vegetable beef soup 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, microplane grater and bowls.
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. Be sure to 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
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.
For more recipes like Brodo di Carne check out these recipes:
- Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs
- Shrimp Tempura Udon (Japanese noodle soup)
- Thick & Healthy Turkey Chili (with Kidney Beans)
- Calamarata Pasta (Calamari and Tomato Sauce)
Enjoy this hearty Italian brodo with a glass of red wine and/or a delicious side like:
- Burrata Caprese with Balsamic Glaze
- Sautéed French Green Beans with Furikake
- Peach Arugula Salad with Prosciutto and Burrata
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Italian Beef Soup (Brodo di Carne)
Italian Beef Broth (Brodo di Carne)
- Add water to a large pot or dutch oven and cook on medium heat.3½ qt water
- Add kosher salt, vegetables, parsley, and beef to the pot.2 lb Chuck roast, 3 carrots, 3 celery stalks, 2 Roma tomatoes, 1 bunch parsley, 2 tablespoon kosher salt, ½ medium onion
- 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.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.1 lb Orzo