Millie Armato’s Christmas Eve-and-After Steak Soup


John ChristmasWhen I was in high school, as the Christmas break was winding down and just before we had to get back to our normal schedules, the last act of the season was the removal of the Christmas tree. This always involved my friend Mike coming over to help me take it out. Mom would give him a big bowl of her Steak Soup, left over from our Christmas Eve tree-trimming party. Then Mike and I would go to a movie. I miss the days when you could bribe a friend with soup.

Mom got the recipe from a restaurant in my hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, called 100 West, which was in KC’s famous shopping district, The Plaza. Mom was accompanied by three girlfriends. The soup was accompanied by slaw, sourdough rolls and cold beer. (Mom keeps meticulous notes on such things.)

Steak Soup became a family favorite, in part because it keeps so well and the leftovers taste even better than the fresh servings. It’s quick and easy and tastes fantastic. The recipe is vintage 70s, including the reference to “oleo.” Does anyone call margarine that anymore? I say go ahead, use butter anyway …

Millie Armato’s Christmas Eve-and-After Steak Soup


1 stick oleo

1 cup flour

2 quarts hot water

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup cubed celery

1 cup cubed carrots

1 package (10 ounce to 2 cups) frozen mixed vegetables

1 can tomatoes, squished (yeah, mom’s recipe says “squished”)

2 pounds ground beef, browned and drained

2 tablespoons beef flavor base

1 teaspoon black pepper


Cook oleo and flour in large soup pot on a slow fire until the paste becomes almost a liquid. Add hot water, slowly stirring with a wire whisk to make a smooth gravy. Add onion, celery, carrots, mixed frozen veggies, tomatoes, ground beef, beef flavor base, and black pepper. Cook slowly until vegetables are tender. (If you use liquid flavor base you may need more; adjust to taste.)

Now, go see if you can bribe a friend with this.

Share | Tags: ·

Leave a Comment

1 Comment so far ↓

  • millie armato | Dec 17, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    You always amuse me. Sorry, I don’t remember this but you say it is in ‘the book’ so I have to believe it. And yes, we still love the soup and me the memory of eating on the Plaza with friends. Ah, so long ago.
    Love, Mom