Chinese 5-Spice Vegetable Beef Soup




The combination of the turnips and 5-spice powder gives this humble soup such rich flavor and the Manchego makes it hardy - my kind of hamburger helper.


Serves 4 generously


1 pound ground beef

½ cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1½ teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder

1 large turnip, diced

2 large carrots, cut into ¼” coins

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced crosswise

1 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes

½ cup Tawny Port

4 cups water

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon chicken “Better-than-Bouillon” paste

1 tablespoon kosher salt or to taste


1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice


4 ounces shredded Manchego cheese for serving


  • In a Dutch oven combine the onions, ground beef and olive oil

  • Saute until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are soft

  • Add the Chinese 5-spice and stir until fragrant

  • Add the turnip, carrots and celery and stir

  • Add the tomatoes, port, water, bay leaf, salt and bouillon paste and stir

  • Simmer the soup for about 20 minutes or until all of the vegetables are tender

  • Remove from the heat and stir in the honey and lemon juice and taste to adjust the seasoning.

  • Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the shredded Manchego cheese and serve