It's very cold. Perfect weather for a hearty beef soup. I think this was my first time making beef vegetable soup, I might have made it once in college, I'm not sure. Anyway, I planned on buying a roast, making roast and potatoes and using the leftover meat to make soup, because this is what my mom does and it seemed like a good plan.
Do you know how humongous roasts are? My gosh! When I was in college mom would occasionally give me small (5-6 lbs) roasts (my parents get beef by the side) to make in the small crock pot I had at the time but at the grocery store in my neighborhood all of them were at least 10 lbs. Maybe if I'm having 3 friends over for dinner and then making soup. So I had to switch tracks. The store sold chopped up roast, labeled "stew meat" at my grocery store but it is sometimes also called "wedding roast." I went with this because it allowed me to get just a pound or so to make my soup and it still made for a pretty meaty soup.
I told mom that I wanted to make beef vegetable soup in my crock pot and she advised me to coat the meat in flour, sautee it in a pan and then place it in the crock pot. I sauteed it in a lot of garlic, some salt and pepper. In the pan, she told me to add some water to the drippings from the meat and make kind of a gravy and put this in the pot also to give it flavor. I did this, but to be honest I'm not sure how important it was. I might skip it the next time and see if I notice a difference, I don't see why I need to cook the meat before I cook it!
Keep in mind when looking at my ingredients list that I'm a picky eater, you might want to add onions, mushrooms and carrots. I hate cooked carrots and all commercial soups have carrots in them. Stay warm!