Craving something hearty and warming that doesn’t take a lot of prep time? Learn how to make this easy keto vegetable beef soup, based on a classic Filipino recipe.
I live in a small town in Connecticut. There aren’t many dining out options in the town of only 4,000 here. The most ethnic restaurant by me is a Chinese restaurant. Michelin-star-rated it is not.
So when I want to taste a recipe that comes from half a world away, do I hop in my car for an hour-plus drive? Nope. I make it myself!
When I’m in the mood for something hearty and warm, I turn to the classic Filipino standard, Nilagang Baka, which is an easy vegetable beef soup.
Basically, this is boiled beef and vegetable soup. It’s very similar to a soup my father makes, but he uses potatoes and regular cabbage.
The reason this recipe and others like it around Southeast Asia are popular… It’s a collection of the basic ingredients which were available to the peasant class.
But, when you make this for your family or guests, they will think they’re being treated like royalty.
Ingredients Needed For Keto Vegetable Beef Soup
Some of the ingredients in this recipe might be a little bit more difficult to find. I encourage you to shop at an Asian or international grocery store. You’ll be more likely to find authentic produce and vegetables there.
Keep in mind that the traditional recipe in the Philippines calls for potatoes. However, considering potatoes are a high-starch veggie, I used my favorite standby: radishes.
And, I added in some small Asian eggplant, napa cabbage, and a small onion.
For the beef, you can use your favorite steak or cut, but I think beef shank tastes the best.
Before getting on to this easy vegetable beef soup recipe, a quick word on meat quality… Some people actually prefer grain-fed red meat for the marbling and fat texture. But, I prefer grass-finished beef, which tastes more like meat from the wild.
To begin, wash the beef with cold running water. Do you have to do that if it’s organic? It has nothing to do with making the meat safer by washing it like you would fruit or vegetables. Rather, washing the beef makes it more tender. So yes! Wash even organic meat for this recipe.
I prefer beef bone broth in this easy vegetable beef soup because of the benefits that come from the collagen protein.
Add more or less spices to make it taste exactly how you want. I used a combination of garlic powder, ground black pepper, and Himalayan pink salt.
Please note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of ingredients used to make this low-carb recipe.
- Make this recipe at night and let it sit at the high setting while you sleep.
- Cut beef into bite sized pieces to cook faster.
- Look for beef shank with marbling bone marrow which adds flavor to the soup.
How To Make Low Carb Vegetable Beef Soup
All of the exact steps are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. First, here is a quick overview of how to make this savory soup.
Prepare The Meat
Pat the meat dry with paper towels and season it with garlic, black pepper, and salt. You’ll want to let the beef sit for about a half-hour. (If it’s especially hot inside, you can place it in the fridge.)
Place The Food In The Slow Cooker
Don’t have a slow cooker? You can order one online and have it delivered to you within a day or two. I prefer this multi-pot cooker because you can also make yogurt with it as well as pressure cook meals.
At the bottom of the slow cooker, you’ll place half of the small chopped onion. (Sorry if you don’t like onion, but it’s a must-have for this Filipino dish; you can always leave it out or substitute it with another low starch veggie.)
Add two slices of beef to the slow cooker. Top the beef with the rest of the onions.
Next, add the remaining slabs of beef and top with the extra 6 cups of beef broth.
Add The Vegetables
Now, about an hour before it’s ready, you’ll want to start adding in some of the veggies.
Begin with the radishes. I usually put them in about 30-60 minutes before I turn off the slow cooker. It’s up to you to determine how soft/chewy you want the veggies.
I’ll usually add in the eggplant and Napa cabbage for about 15-20 minutes before turning off the slow cooker.
What To Serve With Keto Vegetable Beef Soup
I like to eat this Filipino classic stew with a side of ensaladang talong (aka Filipino eggplant salad).
Is this some random thing I’ve come up with, eating roasted eggplant with beef veggie soup?
No, the eggplant is also a traditional Filipino dish. It’s actually more of a salad. The most practical way to make the eggplant in the U.S. is to broil it in the oven. (In the Philippines, it’s made by roasting over charcoal.)
Frequently Asked Questions About Veggie Beef Soup
Before I get to the recipe card, just a little further below, here are some questions people often ask about this savory soup.
What is a low-carb replacement for rice noodles?
Obviously, in traditional Southeast Asian cooking, noodles and rice are staples. However, what can you add to this recipe if you’re watching your net carbs?
You can use any no carb / low carb noodle alternative. My favorite for this dish is cauliflower rice.
And, if you’re lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe’s, they now sell frozen bags of it that’s super easy to make. Other major brands are catching on, so you may find it in regular grocery stores too.
Is this slow cooker beef soup healthy?
Yes, this soup is a fantastic source of nutrients that are not just tasty but good for your body too.
This blood-warming, brothy goodness is packed with potassium, protein, iron, vitamin C and has a decent amount of protein. And, if you use beef bone broth, you’ll be consuming an abundant amount of amino acids that provide the building blocks to repair your body’s collagen protein.
How do you store leftover soup?
Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
I really hope you enjoy this low-carb version of a classic soup from the Philippines! Let me know how it turns out for you.
We hope you give this soup a try. And if you do, we’d love to know what you think in the comments.
More Low-Carb Soup Recipes
If you enjoyed this keto vegetable beef soup, here are some more low-carb soup recipes you should try next. They are some of my favorites!
- Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Soup has the spicy zest of sausage in a thick and creamy broth.
- Easy Keto Lobster Bisque is a seafood-lover’s dream come true, with only 4g net carbs in each serving.
- Keto Ramen Shirataki Noodle Soup is a lighter choice with healthy ingredients and 1.1g net carbs in each serving.
- Unstuffed Cabbage Soup is packed with whole and fresh ingredients in a spicy broth.
- Instant Pot Low-Carb Taco Soup is perfect to feed a crowd.
Easy Vegetable Beef Soup
- 3.7 pounds beef shank 4 slices, 1 inch thick per slice, bone in
- 400 grams red radish cut in half (about 3.5 cups)
- 600 grams napa cabbage (aka wombok) cut in half (about 5.5 cups)
- 300 grams eggplant sliced (3 cups)
- 6 cups beef broth
- 1 small onion chopped
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- Wash beef in cold running water. Pat dry with paper towel.
- Season beef with garlic, salt and black pepper. Let it sit for 30 minutes, either at room temperature or in the fridge.
- Place half of onions at the bottom of the slow cooker. Add 2 slices of beef, top with onions, add the remaining beef and onions. Pour beef broth.
- Cook on high for 7 to 8 hours until beef is tender and falling off the bones.
- Add radishes 30 minutes to one hour plus the eggplants and napa cabbage 15 to 30 minutes before turning off the slow cooker. Length of cooking the vegetables will depend on how soft you want them to be.
Array ( [serving_size] => 1 [calories] => 223 [carbohydrates] => 11 [protein] => 31 [fat] => 5 [saturated_fat] => 1 [cholesterol] => 49 [sodium] => 1112 [potassium] => 984 [fiber] => 3 [sugar] => 6 [vitamin_a] => 245 [vitamin_c] => 34.2 [calcium] => 127 [iron] => 3.8 [serving_unit] => cup )
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Note on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
Unauthorized use of this material without written permission from Lisa MarcAurele is strictly prohibited unless for personal offline purposes.
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First published on September 20, 2018. Updated on September 14, 2021, with new images and additional recipe information.