Sunday, January 9, 2011

{Homemade Beef and Veggie Soup}


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Here is a rarity for me; a recipe that's as healthy as it is delicious!  No frying, no oil, and hold onto your horses for this one...NO BUTTER!  But, don't let what's missing fool you, because this recipe is even more delicious than it is healthy.

In the wintertime (actually anytime!), I could eat soup for every meal.  In fact, if my husband loved soup as much as I do, I probably would eat it for every meal.  But, he doesn't share my insane love for soup.  Oh, he'll eat a bowl, and agree that it's tasty, but he won't go back for seconds, and he won't be requesting it again tomorrow.  However, he LOVES this soup.  The nice thing about this soup is that you can add whatever veggies you want to the recipe I'm giving you.  You'll just decrease the amount of potatoes or meat to make room for your favorite veggies.  Since I'm a bit of a veggie snob, I only use celery, carrots, and potatoes as my veggies, but my Mom often adds green beans and corn.  Play around with it, add what you love!

There are two "surprise" ingredients in here.  The first is the Mrs. Knorr's Veggie Dip Mix pictured below.
 It is a really quick and easy way to add a lot of complementary flavors in one shot.  Look for it at the grocery store.  Sometmes it's in the aisle over by the bouillon cubes, and other times, it's by the other broths.  The other "surprising" ingredient is the teriyaki sauce for browning your meat.  Don't be freaked out by this.  I promise your soup isn't going to taste like chinese food.  It's just going to add a depth of flavor to your soup, that makes it much richer than any other broth-based soup you've had.  Be careful with it though.  It's VERY salty when it cooks down, and if you add too much of it, you're going to have a very salty soup.  I usually add enough teriyaki sauce to my skillet to coat the bottom of the pan.  As it's cooking, and the beef gives off it's own juices, this tends to multiply.  Don't worry.  Just let it cook, and then as the browning nears its end, skim off (I use a baster for this) most of the extra juice into a cup or bowl.  Leave about 2-4 tablespoons in there, and then let it caramelize just a titch bit.  Then, if you feel like you need a little bit more in the broth to add flavor, you can add it back in from what you reserved.  This is a trial and error type thing.  Don't be afraid of messing up.  If you get to the end, and you've added too much and are left with a very salty soup, add some water.  The next time you make it, you'll add less, and won't have to play with it!  I also want to experiment with using red wine to brown the beef, and when I do, I'll let you know how it turns out!

The other important note here is about the potatoes.  You can use any of your favorite potatoes in this soup.  I almost always use the Yukon Gold potatoes in it, because they hold up really nicely to the boiling, and don't fall apart as they sit overnight.  Because this soup tastes even BETTER the next day!  But, plain old russet potatoes work too!  The thing to remember, is to add MORE potatoes than you think you need.  As they cook down, and especially as you reheat the soup, they are going to kind of shrink, and I almost always end up with too much broth, and not enough potatoes!  If this happens, you can always boil some more potatoes in it the next day, but that's just too much work for me!

This is  one of those "Low and Slow" recipes.  You could cook this much faster, at a higher temperature, but it's just not going to taste as good.  So, hold your horses, and be patient!  I'm going to give you the ingredient measurements for the pot I made this week.  It was HUGE.  It could have easily fed 6 people 2 servings.  If you don't want a pot that big, just adjust your measurements accordingly; less broth, less potatoes, less meat, etc.

Hallelujahs:Delicious, deep flavor, easy!
Hellfires:It does take a long time to cook

3 boxes of Beef Broth
1 box of Beef Stock
Celery (to taste, I used 3 stalks)
1 bag of mini carrots
2 lbs beef stew meat
(1) 5 lb bag of potatoes (I like Yukon Gold)
1 bag Mrs. Knorr’s Vegetable Dip Mix
Teriyaki Sauce (2-4 tablespoons-ish)
Montreal Steak Seasoning (this is optional, you could just do salt/pepper for your beef)

-First, get your broth into a large stock pot.
-Add your Mrs. Knorr’s mix.  I don’t use the whole packet.  I use about ⅔ of it.
Photobucket-Chop and add your celery.  I chop mine really large because while I love the flavor it imparts, I don’t want to bite into it.  I want it to be easy to avoid!
Photobucket-Add your carrots.
-Turn your burner onto low/medium.
-Now, add your stew meat to a frying pan.  
-Add enough teriyaki sauce to coat the bottom of the pan, and then add a sprinkle of Montreal Steak Seasoning, or Salt/Pepper if you prefer.  BE CAREFUL with the salt/seasoning.  Just a hint!
Photobucket-Begin browning your meat, covered, on medium.
-As the meat begins to cook, remove the lid, and remove any excess juices to a bowl.  You want about 2-4 tablespoons in there.
-Once the meat has caramelized a little bit, pour it all into your stock pot.
Photobucket-You’re going to have all kinds of delicious caramelized goodness in that frying pan.  Do NOT throw it away! 
-Add a ladle-full of your broth, stir it around, and dump it all back into the stock pot.
Photobucket-If you think your broth needs a little more depth, go ahead and add some of the reserved meat juices, but be careful about adding too much or it will be too salty!
Photobucket-Now, cover your pot, turn your burner down to low (about a 3 out of 10), and go relax.  Read a magazine, take a bath, clean your house, paint your nails, just chill out for at least an hour and a half or two hours.  You want this soup to be DELICIOUS!
-This is what your broth will look like after about 2 hours. See how much deeper it looks?
-Once your broth has gently simmered for an hour and a half or two hours, check your carrots.  If they are just about tender, go ahead and begin peeling, and chopping your potatoes.  Add them to the soup, and turn it up slightly, to about a 4 or 5 out of 10.  
Photobucket-Simmer uncovered until your potatoes are fork tender.
-Serve in a large bowl, with some delicious, crusty bread to dip into it.  And then eat it again for lunch.  And a snack.  And dinner the next day!


1 comment:

  1. So I have made this twice now, and it's always so tasty! I admit I do add a can of herb and vegetable broth, I cook with it a lot, it's just so tasty. We have a potato shortage going on here, so I had to supplement with some frozen veggies, but it came out fine! Thanks for sharing this recipe, Kelley!