Oxtail Soup

This is my absolute favorite meal.  My grandmother made it, my mother made it and I've been making it for over 30 years.  I'll make a big batch on Sunday and we'll eat it all week long.  If you don't like the idea of oxtails or they are too costly, simply use a bone-in pot roast and/or some beef shanks.  Don't laugh, but since I was a child I always put ketchup in my bowl.  It adds a little spicy tomato flavor.  I'm normally not a ketchup person, but have to have it in this soup.  Try it both ways and see what you think.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

With or without ketchup, this is my all time favorite soup!

With or without ketchup, this is my all time favorite soup!

The ingredients for this soup are hard to measure.  Use as many oxtails as you like or as big a pot roast you desire.  Add as many vegetables as you'd like.  I prefer parsnips to turnips, so I add more of one over the other.  I call for a bone-in chuck roast, but I've been having a hard time finding them, so I've been using a boneless.  I prefer bone-in to get the additional flavor from the bones.  If you are opting to use a pot roast over oxtails, I recommend adding some beef bones or some beef shanks.


Oxtails (trimmed of fat) - I usually buy 2 packages - probably resulting in at least 12 oxtails

1 bone-in chuck roast approximately 3 lbs. or so

1 large onion, chopped

1 - 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed or cut with kitchen shears

Fresh Parsley

Celery tops including the leaves

4 celery ribs, chopped

3 quarts beef stock

3 bay leaves

5-6 Carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch rounds

5-6 Parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch rounds

3-4 Turnips, peeled and quartered



1 or 2 - 12 oz. package of Egg Noodles

Ketchup (if desired)


Place the oxtails and chuck roast in a large heavy bottomed stock pot.  Pour in the beef stock and add additional water to completely cover the meat by at least 5-6 inches.  Add the bay leaves, tomatoes, onion and celery.  Make an herb bundle with the celery leaves and about 6-8 stems of parsley and tie it to the handle of the pot for easy removal.  Bring the pot to a boil and reduce to a steady low simmer for 3 hours, keeping the cover on, but slightly ajar. (see photo)

After 3 hours, skim the fat and add in the carrots, parsnips and turnips and cook until tender.  Cook the egg noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse under cool water so they don't stick together.  

When the vegetables are tender, remove the herb bundle, break up the pot roast with a heavy spoon or tongs and remove the bone (this should be easy to do and can be done while the roast sits in the soup) and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.  

Place some noodles in a soup bowl, add a nice swirl of ketchup (if desired and stir to combine), and ladle in the soup making sure to add an oxtail and some of each of the vegetables.  Season with additional salt and pepper if needed and stir to combine the ketchup.  Enjoy!