Southwestern Roast Beef Soup

© Can Stock Photo/

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, I rented a booth in an antique mall in Tucson, Arizona.

The mall included a small soup and sandwich shop. Nothing big and fancy, but it was a cozy, quiet place to grab a quick lunch whenever I was there. The food was always top notch.

One day they were serving a southwestern roast beef soup. It tasted like a cross between a beef stew and chili con carne. I wanted to ask for the recipe. However, their soups were usually made from the prior day’s leftovers, so I doubt there was a recipe. So, I did the next best thing. I let my palate decide, and then I came up with my own recipe. It’s a close match, and since it uses leftover roast beef, I’m sure Rosie would have approved.

Sadly, the antique mall is no more. While I made a profit each year, it wasn’t much, and maintaining my booth  was a costly undertaking. I eventually closed it out. The mall itself went out of business a few years later, which I was sorry to see. That said, I have no regrets. I met a lot of interesting people while I was there, and I learned a lot about how the retail business works.

Gayle Martin

Southwestern Roast Beef Soup

½ to 1 pound leftover roast beef (such as round roast), including the pan drippings

  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (14.5 ounce)
  • 1 small can diced green chilis (optional)
  • 1 cup corn or mixed vegetables
  • 3/4 cup small, uncooked pasta, such as a shell pasta
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt, if desired

Chop roast beef into small, bite-sized cubes. Blend all the ingredients into a 4 quart stockpot and bring to a boil. If soup is too thick, add more stock until desired consistency. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30to 45 minutes or until meat is tender.


Book Cover for Rosies Riveting Recipes
Cover photo by Rob Resetar

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. During WWII, the United States government devised a food rationing program to help insure that every family would have enough to eat. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives readers a glimpse into life on the WWII home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one Rosies’s Riveting Recipes includes more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World War II ration recipes and short tales of life on the American home front interspersed throughout.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and