The Soup Blog
Recipes, Culinary Insights & Humor Spooned Up Fresh Every Week…………………(Now in its Ice Cream Phase)
Social Media Soup
Categories: Beef, Carrots, Corn, Dairy-free, Fruit, Peas

I recently put out a call to readers (although perhaps the plural is a bit optimistic) for requests for recipes you might want to see. What I got back was a veritable tureenful (ouch) of suggestions.  The best chef I know, asked for Split Pea, Mushroom or Cabbage Beet.  I also got an intriguing request to make a low-carb Vegetable Beef soup. And since I’ve been on a vegetarian kick the last two weeks, I decided to swing back to the high-protein end of the spectrum.

The result is a potato-less upgrade of a traditional American soup that is more internationally flavored than the original.  What the digerati might call Vegetable Beef Soup 2.0.

And while Web 2.0 might be an accurate label for the World Wide Web’s social media phase, when you’re talking about cuisine, that number is off by several orders of magnitude, i.e. tens of thousands. The digital set like to think that the internet has freed up the means of production and opened up self-expression to anyone with a computer and an internet service provider.  In the kitchen that happened milennia ago when anyone with a pot and access to fire got to participate.

Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? These are the ultimate social media.

As with the online community, the cross-pollination among culinary communities has accelerated in the past few years as ingredients and techniques spread around the globe.  The difference is that in the world of cooking, these expressions still have to taste good, whereas on the Internet any bozo with a blog gets to be part of the conversation. (Hi everyone!)

It all comes together in a soup pot, the same way it has since some cave person discovered boiling water—and  shortly thereafter, the oven mitt.

How it comes together for me is through conversations with friends and colleagues, a vague understanding of a few classic dishes and the thrill of creating something new.  This has led to some great successes, e.g.  a Caprese Soup based on the Caprese Salad (tomatoes, basil, and mozarella in a balsamic vinaigrette), a Coq au Vin Soup based on the French dish of the same name (chicken, mushrooms, pinot noir, etc.)  It has also led to some great failures, the memories of which I have completely repressed.

My version of Vegetable Beef Soup borrows from the Mexican dish Carne Asada—a favorite of the taco trucks found throughout my old home of Los Angeles.  It starts with a cut of beef* marinated in citrus, garlic and cilantro that is then grilled or broiled.  The cooks in the catering trucks put this delicacy into tacos, burritos, and a number of other dishes.  I put it into soup.

I’m thinking this recipe is not one I’m going to forget about.  In fact, since I’m putting it online, it will probably exist in some form a lot longer than I will.  That’s okay, I’ve got worse things than that haunting me.

If it reaches your eyes, or better yet, your table, let me know what you think.  If you have some ideas to improve it, I want to hear those too.  As I said a few weeks ago, this is a community bowl.  Pass it on.  Pass it back. Just move it along, people.  Nothing more to see here.

* Note:  If you want to make this soup vegetarian, try substituting portabello mushrooms for the beef,  then proceed to marinate, grill, etc.  It’s not bad either.

Thanks to Monique, Mary, Martie, Jamie and Don for your requests.  It may take a while but I’ll get to all of them.

Carne Asada Vegetable Soup (Mexican Style Vegetable Beef)
(serves 4-6)
1 lb beef chuck, sliced thin
½ cup cilantro, chopped
¼ cup onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup lime juice
½ cup olive oil
salt & pepper
4 cups beef or vegetable stock
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup corn
1 cup peas
1 cup onions, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Place the beef in the marinade and refrigerate for 1 to 6 hours.  Save the marinade.
  2. Broil or grill the beef for about 5 minutes then turn the pieces over and continue cooking until done (another 5 minutes). Remove from heat, chop into small pieces and set aside.
  3. Strain the marinade to get rid of all the liquid (½ cup of oil is just too much for a soup).
  4. Add the beef, strained marinade ingredients, stock, vegetables and seasonings (go easy on the salt) to a 2-3 quart pot, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and continue simmering for about an hour (The longer the better.  The soup will taste even better the next day, but don’t simmer it that long unless you’ve got a fire marshall nearby)
  5. Serve warm with quesadillas or chips and salsa.

Image Credit:  The wonderful people at ClipArt and an infinitesimally small amount of creativity.  It’s not Terry Gilliam caliber, but it’s late.

Comments? Questions? Requests?  You’ve seen some of my inspirations.  Why not add your particular tastes to the mix.  I’ll be listening and responding.

Leave a Comment to “Social Media Soup”

  1. Mary Roach says:

    Another great entry- LOL and the recipe looks like something even I could handle-

    Thanks again!


    • pcandres says:

      Thanks for the comment. Good luck with the soup. You can definitely handle it. It’s not a bad way to get the kids to eat their vegetables either.

  2. Jon says:

    Mmmm…sounds great. I also wonder how it would be with a thicker, tomato-y base similar to tortilla soup??

    • pcandres says:

      Interesting idea. I’d love to hear your tortilla soup recipe. The one I do is more cilantro and chicken based. Try the lime-soaked grilled beef, though, it’s well worth it.

  3. Catherine Curtis says:

    What a great idea! I look forward to reading your creative and humorous, soup-related (and not soup-related) observations. If it’s not too late to put in a soup recipe request…I’d love one for cream of mushroom!

    • pcandres says:

      Thanks Catherine,
      I’ll put your request down on the list. Mushroom soup is one I can totally do. Cream of mushroom could make it even more fun. I appreciate your kind words.

  4. Kathy Lundeen says:

    I’m a fan of the cucumber and your writing! I need to stand closer to you next time and catch some of your witty commentary. I’ll let you know how the soup turns out.

    • pcandres says:

      Thanks, Kathy. Maybe I should do what my great grandmother used to do and write all my comments down on a magic slate. Hope you like the soup.

  5. Jame says:

    Hi Phil,
    I made the Carne Asada Vegetable Soup last night (finally!) I did make it with seiten and it turned out quite well – even Declan liked it (and that says a lot…) Since seiten has no fat in it, I made a few adaptations. I broiled it rather than grilled it (of course, this probably has more to do with the fact that I don’t have a grill than that seiten has no fat!) and I used the marinade liquid to saute the onions and carrots before adding everything else. Delicious! Thank you!
    By the way, when you broil the meat, do you scrape the onions/cilantro/garlic off before putting the meat under the flame? Or do you leave it on? I left some on the cutlets, but think next time I’ll scrape it off and add those ingredients fresh to the soup. Love, Jame

    • pcandres says:

      I left a lot of the marinade on the meat. I love grilled onions and decided to add a little extra flavor that way.
      Glad to hear the seiten worked out. Send me the recipe and I’ll put it up.

      PS: Grilled, broiled, it’s all good. I’m sure there’s no one here in the Midwest grilling in February.

  6. Chris says:


    Love the steaming and chilled servings/observations! Just started following your postings today and will return for seconds.

    Can’t wait to make (I use that verb loosely, as I am not the creative type) your Carne Asada Soup. If it is as good as one of my favorite meals, my creativity may find some traction.

    Take care,


    • pcandres says:

      Glad you’re following along. Let me know how the soup turns out, regardless of what creative process you use.