Steak and Potato Soup with rich caramelized onions, beef simmered until tender, and hearty potatoes. Making soup with budget-friendly cuts of meat gives you the best of both worlds: delicious and easy on the wallet.
About Steak and Potato Soup
Soup isn't just for the soul. It's also for the budget, the heart, the tastebuds, and so much more.
Homemade soup is one of the greatest things ever, especially when you make a big batch and can eat leftovers throughout the week or freeze it for later.
No need to cook; you have a nice big batch of soup to eat. Like this Steak and Potato Soup.
It's comforting, hearty, and delicious. Plus, it's budget-friendly!
Yep, steak can be included in a frugal meal. Fortunately, you can enjoy meat on a budget by choosing one of the less expensive cuts and using a smaller amount.
Adding some veggies like onions and potatoes bulks up the soup as well as adds nutrients, so you feel full and satisfied with a smaller amount of the often pricey beef.
Typically, the less expensive cuts of meat are best enjoyed slow-cooked to help tenderize them, and soup is a perfect way to do that.
This chunky steak and potato soup recipe is simple and makes about 10 cups of soup, so you can feed a group or save for leftovers.
oil: Technically, you don't need oil. But if you use lean beef stew meat, it's recommended so your steak doesn't get too stuck to the pot. Or you can add some oil to the pot to caramelize the onions if needed.
beef stew meat: For this steak and potato soup recipe, use beef stew meat. It's a more budget-friendly cut and is best when it has enough time to simmer and tenderize.
onions: Caramelizing the onions gives this soup a ton of flavor. Any combo of yellow, white, Vidalia, and red onions work well.
garlic: A classic flavor booster, you can also use garlic powder.
potatoes: You need potatoes for a steak and potato soup since it's one of the main ingredients. Honestly, any potato will be fine. Red potatoes and white potatoes (waxy potatoes) hold their shape the best. Baking potatoes, Yukon Gold, and Russet potatoes don't hold their shape as well, but they will thicken the soup more.
unsalted beef stock: Any type of stock or broth can be used, like bone broth, chicken broth, or vegetable broth. Unsalted or low-sodium is preferable to keep the sodium content in check. In a pinch, water can be used in place of the stock.
Worcestershire sauce: This gives the steak potato soup richness and depth. Without it, your soup will definitely fall flat.
spices: A bay leaf, plus salt, paprika, and black pepper season the soup. For extra spice, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or add additional black pepper. Another option is to use spicy paprika.
cornstarch: To thicken the soup, cornstarch is added after the soup has simmered for a while.
Cost of Recipe
- oil 1 teaspoon: $0.08
- beef stew meat 1 pound: $6.98
- onions 2 pounds: $1.98
- garlic 3 cloves: $0.18
- potatoes 2 pounds: $2
- unsalted beef stock 4 cups: $2.28
- water 4 cups: $0
- Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon: $0.30
- bay leaf 1: $0.10
- salt 1 tsp: $0.01
- paprika ½ tsp: $0.08
- pepper ¼ tsp: $0.03
- cornstarch 2 tablespoons: $0.12
TOTAL COST: $11.86 or $1.98/serving (Based on San Diego grocery stores 2022)
Note that this is not the recipe; it's simply to show the cost breakdown of ingredients. Be sure to scroll down to the full recipe to see the specific ingredients and directions.
How to Make Steak Potato Soup
Time needed: 2 hours and 15 minutes
While there isn't much hands-on time, this does take a few hours to prepare. To develop a nice rich flavor, you'll start by searing the meat and caramelizing the onions. Once you've added the remaining ingredients, the steak potato soup is slow-cooked for at least an hour.
- Sear the meat in the pot.
Brown on all sides, then transfer to a plate.
- Add the onions to the pot.
If needed, add a little oil to the pot so the onions don't stick.
- Caramelize the onions.
Stir occasionally. You want the onions to caramelize, so this will take a little time (about 25 minutes).
- Add garlic, potatoes, stock, water, Worcestershire sauce, spices, bay leaf, and seared beef. Simmer.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 45 to 60 minutes.
- Whisk together cold water and cornstarch.
Add to the soup.
- Simmer until thickened.
Steak and Potato Soup Recipe Tips
To thicken the soup, combine cornstarch and cold water after the soup has simmered for a while. Add the mixture to the soup and cook for a few minutes to give the soup time to thicken.
Be sure to use cold water and make sure all the lumps are gone before adding to the soup. Otherwise, you'll end up with lumps in your soup.
Steak: For slow cooking, look for a cut that has more connective tissue like chuck or round. Simmering these cuts helps break down the tough connective tissue so your steak becomes tender.
Potatoes: Red potatoes and white potatoes (waxy potatoes) hold their shape the best for a more defined potato shape in your soup. Baking potatoes, Yellow, or Yukon Gold potatoes will hold their shape some but not as much. Russet potatoes don't hold their shape as well, so they will break down more and thicken the soup.
Garlic: Use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder in place of the fresh garlic if needed.
How to Make Allergy Friendly
This steak potato soup is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, and nut-free. Cornstarch and potatoes, which are both naturally gluten-free, thicken the soup instead of flour.
If you top the soup with cheese or add any other toppings or flavor enhancers, it will possibly no longer be free of that allergen. Always remember to check the labels and read the ingredient lists.
How to Fix a Mistake
Soup is too thin: If the soup is too thin, add more cornstarch or let it cook for another 15-30 minutes, making sure the top is off the pot. To add more cornstarch, whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with ¼ cup cold water. Make sure it is completely lump-free before adding it to the soup.
Soup is too thick: Add an extra ½ cup of water or broth. Stir and add more water in ½ cup increments as needed.
Soup lacks flavor: If the soup tastes flat, add an extra 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce or 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. Another option is to add ½ teaspoon of fish sauce. If none of these are available, add an extra ¼ teaspoon of salt and some extra garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, or cayenne pepper based on your personal taste preferences.
Make Ahead Ideas
Like most homemade soups, this steak and potato soup recipe is great to make in advance. Simply prepare as directed, and reheat when ready to eat.
Because the cornstarch doesn't hold its thickness for as long, your soup might be a little thinner. If that is a concern, put the soup in a pot and heat it over medium. Whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and ¼ cup of cold water; then add to the soup and cook for 15 minutes.
Store the steak potato soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
If you are reheating from the fridge, warm in the microwave in a microwavable-safe dish at 60-second increments, stirring between each. Or transfer to a pot and heat over medium on the stove, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.
To reheat from frozen, defrost in the fridge overnight or in the microwave on the defrost setting. Either reheat in the microwave or on the stove as directed above.
Frequently Asked Questions
Steak and Potato Soup is a simple soup made with a combo of tender stew meat, caramelized onions, and creamy potatoes.
To get the best kind of steak for soup, look for a cut of beef that has more connective tissue like a chuck or round. Simmering these cuts helps break down the tough connective tissue so your steak becomes perfectly tender and tasty in soup.
Paired together, steak and potatoes offer a variety of nutrients like iron, B vitamins, potassium, protein, and fiber. Plus, they are satisfying and hearty. They're a great combo if you are trying to nourish your body and taste buds.
Potatoes are an inexpensive way to get in high-quality carbohydrates, fiber, and nutrients like potassium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6.
Steak is an excellent source of protein, iron, and B Vitamins like B12, niacin, B6, and riboflavin.
Caramelized onions add tons of flavor without having to add extra fat, salt, or cost because onions are usually cheap.
Plus, soup is very hydrating. Since soup is often enjoyed in colder months when it's less common to drink water, soup is a great way to stay hydrated.
In one serving of this steak and potato soup, you get 29 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 22% RDA of iron, 51% RDA of Vitamin C, and 43% RDA of potassium.
What to Serve with Steak and Potato Soup
To take the steak potato soup to the next level, top it with freshly grated cheddar and/or chopped green onions.
Or serve with crackers or toasted garlic bread for dipping.
This budget-friendly meal tastes great while providing a substantial amount of nutrients and hydration. Enjoying a bowl of this steak potato soup satisfies a comfort food craving while supporting your immune system.
Plus, it's hearty and filling, so you won't feel hungry after enjoying a big bowl, especially if you serve it with a side of garlic bread or crackers.
MORE BUDGET-FRIENDLY RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE:
All of these recipes are less than $3 per serving.
- Chickpea Salmon Burgers
- Salsa Lentil Soup
- Red Beans and Rice
- Beef and Hominy Casserole
- Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Crispy Baked Tofu Tacos
Steak and Potato Soup
- 1 pound beef stew meat
- 2 pounds onions diced, about 4 medium
- 3 cloves garlic minced, about 1 TBSP
- 2 pounds potatoes diced, about 3 medium
- 4 cups unsalted beef stock
- 4 cups cold water divided
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Heat a large soup pot over high heat. Add beef stew meat and sear until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.
- Remove from pot and wipe all but about 1 tablespoon excess grease out of soup pot.
- Turn the heat to medium, and add onions. Let cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and golden brown. Stir in garlic and cook for about one minute.
- Add potatoes, beef stock, 3.5 cups water, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, salt, paprika, and pepper. Stir well. Bring to a boil, partially cover pot, and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Let simmer for about 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender and potatoes are cooked.
- Whisk together remaining ½ cup cold water and cornstarch until no lumps remain. Stir into soup and cook another 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve. Top with cheddar cheese and/or green onions if desired. Enjoy!
This post was originally published on November 3, 2014. Text, recipe, and photos have been updated.
Steak and Potato Soup Nutrition Facts