St. John Valley

Warm up in these cold temps with this pot roast soup

MADAWASKA, Maine — The weather outside is frightful, but don’t worry, I’ve got some hot, hearty soup to warm you up inspired by my father. 

Growing up as the daughter of a chef, restaurant hospitality manager and sanitation inspector, I learned a lot from my father. As one of my biggest supporters, I constantly get story suggestions and articles that he sends to me because they make him think of me — a lot to do with cooking since he calls me his “little chef” to this day. 

When the temperatures outside would turn cold (well, cold for Texas), I knew I could expect something hot and delicious to come out of my parents’ kitchen.  

One of my favorites was pot roast. They would use horseradish on the meat and then serve it up with some ketchup and bread. 

Recently I was feeling particularly homesick, and I decided I wanted to make pot roast to sooth my longing for family and warm my bones. After taking stock of my kitchen, I found I had everything I needed except beef. So I took to the grocery store. 

While looking at the beef, I found the roasts were a little out of my budget. Just as I was going to give up my dream of eating my dad’s savory pot roast, I saw beef cubes for stew. 

Like a light bulb, the idea flashed into my head. Pot roast soup. Thus, this recipe was born. 


— 2 lbs beef cubes

— 3 medium sweet onions (wedges)

— 4 cups (roughly 8) red potatoes cut into cubes

— 4 cups julienned carrots 

— ¾ cup flour, and an additional ¼ cup set aside

— 1 tsp salt

— 1 tsp pepper

— 1 cup ketchup

— 1/2 cup horseradish sauce

— 4 cups beef stock

— 6 cups water

— 2 tbsp butter

— 1 tsp garlic powder

— 1 tsp onion powder 

Tip: Use a damp paper towel under your cutting board to prevent it from moving around. 

Add the salt, pepper and flour to the beef and toss it together until the beef is coated. 

Add the butter to the pot and cook over medium high head, until it is melted. 

Add the beef and sear on high heat until the majority of the beef is brown on each side. The beef will continue to cook in the soup. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside

Add 2 more tbsps of butter to the pot, then add onions, potatoes and carrots.

Add the beef stock, and water. Cover and cook on high stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. 

Add the beef back into the pot. 

Cover and cook on medium for 2 hours stirring occasionally

Extract about 3 cups of broth from the pot and move it to a smaller pot. 

To the smaller pot, whisk in the remaining flour, ketchup, and horseradish sauce

The inspiration for pot roast soup came from my parents, Pete and Karen Mitchell. (Morgan Mitchell | SJVT)

Cook on medium heat until it thickens. This is your roux. Stir the roux back into the pot. 

Cook on the stove for an additional hour on medium heat, or until the potatoes are soft. 

Salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve with a slice of bread for that added comfort. 

The longer and slower you cook the soup, the more the flavors will seep together, but the vegetables will soften more. 

To me, this soup only gets better with age. If only I could make enough to make it last more than three days. 

Morgan’s Recipe Series is an occasional column to bring recipes from all over the United States to the Valley for all sorts of holidays and family functions. 

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