Monday, October 10, 2011

Chunky Vegetable Beef Soup

We had a little cold snap a couple weeks ago, so I came home from work and decided to try my hand at making vegetable beef soup.  I'd never done it before and didn't really have a recipe, but it's one of my husband's favorites and it sounded really delicious.

Campbell's Chunky Soups has nothing on me.

Chunky Vegetable Beef Soup

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 gloves, minced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1/2 pound Italian flat beans, cut into 1 inch pieces (or you can use regular green beans)
  • 3 medium potatoes (I used red, but you can use whatever kind you like), peeled and cubed
  • 1 pound beef (whatever cut you like), cut into small cubes
  • 32 oz. beef stock (I used Swanson)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • About 1/2 to 1 cup red wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

The ingredients are pretty basic.  I started by cutting up some carrots, celery, onion, garlic,  and Italian flat beans (that was a surprise when I opened my hydrator drawer).

I started by sauteing the onions and garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil until they're tender.  Then I added my beef.  I had some grilled steak leftover from when my in-laws were visiting (the weekend of the cherry pie), which I had frozen.  All I had to do was thaw it, cut it up into smaller pieces, and add it.  If you're starting with raw beef chunks, you'll need to brown those in the pan first, then add the onions and garlic.

Next, add the beef broth and wine.  Toss in all your veggies except the potatoes.  Add your seasoning and tomato paste.

Bring the pot to a simmer and let it cook, covered, for about 45 minutes.  While you're waiting, peel and cut up your potatoes.  I made pretty big chunks.

Put the potatoes in the soup around 15 to 20 minutes before you want to serve.  You want them to still have a bit of body to them so they don't turn to mush in your pot.  Test the potatoes to see if they're done after 15 minutes.  How fast they cook depends on the size of your chunks.

You can also add up to a cup of pearl barley (my husband requested it for next time), but I would suggest preparing the barley in a separate pan, following package directions, and then adding to the soup pot.  Otherwise your soup could get too starchy.  I thought of adding it this time around, but didn't have any on hand.

Serve it up with some crusty bread!

In the end this was ridiculously easy, even for a weeknight meal.  It reheated very well the next day for lunch too, and could easily be made ahead or in a slow cooker (maybe I'll do a slow cooker variation sometime).

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