Monday, February 28, 2011

Beef Vegetable Soup



It’s snowing outside and the first thing that comes to mind is a big pot of hearty beef vegetable soup to warm up the house and my soul. 

Soup size pieces of tender beef, carrots, cabbage, and beans that gather together on a spoon.

My notes to you...
This is an easy go to soup that can be whipped up quickly.  The trick to making this soup delicious without the addition of a lot of seasonings is to brown the meat and sauté the onions, celery and garlic until they are very soft bringing out their sweet savory flavors that give the soup broth a big beefy flavor.  I also use a combination of beef and chicken broth for a more balanced flavor.

The beauty of soup is that you can add just about anything to it and it will be wonderful.  The only thing that needs to be consistent is the type and amount of liquid that you use for your soup.  My rule is to use 1 can of broth along with 2 cups of water and everything else is up for grabs.  I purposely left out the potatoes in this batch of soup so I could add rice instead.  I place the cooked rice in the bottom of each bowl before serving.

VEGETABLE BEEF SOUP
2          pounds            beef chuck, cut into small cubes
1          large                onion, small dice
2          stalks               celery, small dice
2          cloves              garlic, minced
2          cups                 cabbage, cut into small pieces
14        oz. can             Italian stewed tomatoes
14        oz. can            chicken broth
14        oz. can            beef broth
4          cups                water
15        oz. can            cannellini beans, with liquid
15        oz. can            kidney beans, with liquid
2          tsp.                  kosher salt
¼         tsp.                  black pepper

Cut the chuck into small cubes;season with salt and pepper. 
Brown chuck over high heat in a hot non stick pan until all the pieces are nicely browned. 
*If you notice that there is a lot of liquid that is boiling your meat instead of browning, not to worry, keep cooking the meat.  The liquid will eventuall evaporate and the meat will brown up beautifully.
Remove the meat and place it in a soup pot. 

In the same pan over med heat cook the onions, celery and garlic in 1 Tbsp. oil until very soft.
Place the meat, onion mixture and the rest of the ingredients into a soup pot and bring to a boil; lower heat and cover.  Cook for 30 – 45 minutes or until the beef is tender or in a slow cooker; on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. 


BEEFY MACARONI & BEAN SOUP
You can add 1 cup of elbow macaroni to this soup to make it a Beefy Macaroni Soup.  The macaroni will thicken the soup slightly and give it more body.  When your meat is tender bring the soup back to a boil and add macaroni; lower heat and cook for 8 - 10 minutes or until macaroni is tender.   

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