What Are The Little White Things In Vegetable Beef Soup?

Vegetable beef soup is a hearty and delicious soup made with beef, vegetables, and broth It’s a popular soup found in many homemade recipes as well as canned versions like Campbell’s While homemade vegetable beef soup tends to have larger chopped vegetables, the canned versions often have tiny diced vegetables. Among the mix of miniature carrots, potatoes, peas, and other veggies, you may notice some small white specks or chunks floating in the broth. So what are those little white things in vegetable beef soup?

Common Little White Things Found In Vegetable Beef Soup

There are a few common ingredients that could be the little white pieces in your beef and veggie soup. Here’s a rundown of the most likely culprits:


Barley is a popular addition to beef and vegetable soups. It’s a hearty grain that provides a nice chewy texture. Barley is light tan/beige in color so when chopped into small pieces it can appear white in the soup broth. The barley used in commercial soup production is pearled barley, which has the outer bran layer removed. This makes the barley white in color. If you see little oblong pieces in your soup, it’s likely barley.


Potatoes are another standard vegetable in beef and veggie soups. White potatoes are often diced small in commercial soup production. These tiny white cubes of potato can look like little specks throughout the broth. Homemade soup may have larger potato pieces, but small diced white potato is common in canned soup.


In commercially produced beef vegetable soup, carrots are typically julienned or diced very small. The tiny carrot pieces can end up appearing white after cooking in the broth. So those little white specks might actually be bits of carrot.


Celery is another veggie regularly included in vegetable beef soup. The pale color of celery can appear white when chopped finely. Tiny diced pieces of celery can be hard to distinguish from other little white bits in the soup.


Onions are a flavorful aromatic added to most beef soups When onions are diced very finely or minced, the pieces can be small enough to look like white flecks in the broth


Though less common than carrots and celery, parsnips may also be included in some homemade and commercial vegetable beef soup recipes. Parsnips are white with a sweet, nutty flavor. When diced small, they appear as little white pieces in the soup.

Tapioca Starch/Pearls

Some recipes call for adding a small amount of tapioca starch or pearls to help thicken the broth of the soup. This can also contribute to those tiny white spots floating in the beef and veggie soup.


Rice is not as frequently used, but some vegetable beef soup recipes do include a handful of white rice. When the rice is cooked down into the soup, the little grains can be hard to identify and look like white specks.

Why Are The Vegetables So Small?

In commercially produced canned soups like Campbell’s, uniformity is a priority. Having evenly sized vegetables results in consistent texture and flavor in every spoonful. Small diced vegetables also allow the producer to pack more into each can.

For homemade soup, tiny diced vegetables are common because they cook faster and more evenly. The vegetables soften into the broth, adding body and texture while avoiding large unwieldy pieces. Finely chopping the vegetables also allows the flavors to meld together into a cohesive finished soup.

Are The White Specks Harmful?

The little white bits and pieces in your vegetable beef soup are completely harmless. They are just tiny fragments of vegetables, grains or starch added to the soup recipe. As long as you are using commercially canned soup or preparing homemade soup from fresh ingredients, those little white specks are nothing to worry about. They may look foreign or unappetizing, but they are simply the result of finely chopped ingredients blending into the broth.

How To Enjoy Vegetable Beef Soup With White Bits

If the little white pieces bother your texture preferences, there are a couple ways to enjoy vegetable beef soup without the specks:

  • Make your own homemade version with larger diced or chopped vegetables. Leaving the veggies in bigger pieces avoids the tiny bits floating in the broth. Just be sure to cook them until very tender.

  • Use a blender or immersion blender to partially puree the soup after cooking. This will break down smaller pieces while leaving some texture. Blend to your desired consistency.

  • Try a different brand or variety of canned soup with larger vegetable pieces or a creamier broth. The white specks are less noticeable in dense, creamy broths.

  • Simply embrace the tiny pieces as part of the rustic appeal of vegetable beef soup! The little specks are inert and barely detectable when eating.

While the white specks may seem off-putting initially, they are simply evidence of the vegetables, grains and starches used to make a hearty and nourishing beef veggie soup. Now that you know barley, potatoes, carrots and other ingredients are likely the culprits, you can ladle up a spoonful of this classic soup without worry. The next time you spot those little white things in your vegetable beef soup, recognize them as components of a comforting homemade or commercial food favorite.

Melt-in-your-mouth Beef and Vegetable Soup


What are the white specks in soup?

The truth is many of these purported mystery substances on and in your food can be boiled down to one of three categories: protein, fat, or yeast. And while the discovery can be disconcerting in many of these cases, that white stuff is usually safe to eat.

What is the white stuff floating in my beef broth?

You turn on the heat, the pot heats up, and it’s not long before all that whitish, greyish, or brownish foamy “scum” rises to the top of the pot just as it starts to simmer. What is that stuff, anyway? Broth scum is simply denatured congealed protein. It comes from the meat, not the bones.

What are the white specks in my stew?

What you’re probably seeing are little blobs of fat that congealed as the stew cooled. It’s normal, nothing to worry about. If you get the stew good and hot then give it a good stir, the dots of white should dissolve.

What are the white dots on canned beef?

Simply put, this is fat which has separated from our raw materials during the canning process.

What is vegetable beef soup made of?

Vegetable beef soup made with hearty pieces browned beef and a smart mix of fresh and frozen vegetables. Did you make this? We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

What does vegetable beef soup taste like?

This hearty vegetable beef soup is rich, flavorful, and packed with vegetables and tender pieces of marinated sirloin steak. This soup tastes like something you’ve been cooking all day, but will be on the table in under an hour. Vegetable beef soup will always remind me of the cans of Campbells soup that were a staple of my childhood.

What is vegetarian beef soup?

Vegetable Beef Soup (Fall apart beef!) A hearty Vegetable Beef Soup with melt-in-your-mouth slow cooked chunks of beef, potato and vegetables simmered in a herb infused savoury broth. You’ll love how the broth of this beef soup recipe is slightly thickened so it’s like gravy and has extra flavour from a secret ingredient!

What vegetables can I add to soup?

You could add or substitute other veggies, such as bell peppers, frozen peas, zucchini, tomatoes, or butternut squash to customize the soup to your liking. Quick-cooking vegetables are best added in the last few minutes, whereas more hearty ones can cook for longer.

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