Winter Vegetable & Beef Soup

You’re looking at the perfect meal for a blustery winter day!  A day so cold, I’ve got half a mind to toss on my full length mink before I venture out later.  This is just the sort of day that calls for a mink coat, don’t you agree?  All right, I don’t actually have a fur coat of any sort.  But if I did, I’d darned sure be hauling it out today.  I’ll throw on my puffy down jacket instead.  I’ll put a fur coat on my list for Santa next year.  And I’m sure he’ll be getting right on that request.

Where was I? 

Yes, the soup.  I have a huge pot simmering on the stove right now and the smell is absolutely heavenly!

I shopped for the ingredients yesterday afternoon and picked up the two pounds of meat that the recipe calls for.  Then, last night I snuggled up with my new Bon Appetit magazine and read an article by Mark Bittman.  He recently wrote a book called Food Matters, in which he outlines a series of rules that he set for himself – namely to become more of ‘flexitarian’ and less of a ‘meatarian’.  And as I was making a splattery, greasy disaster of my stove top while browning stew meat a while ago, I thought – he’s on to something.

I went ahead and added all two pounds – after all, I had already bought it, diced it, and seasoned it.  But with Mark Bittman’s idea in mind, next time I might double up on the veggies and cut the meat in half.  The original recipe calls for three cups of chopped green cabbage, which I egregiously neglected to buy.  It couldn’t be helped, I was distracted!  The punks kept texting me from home:  MOM!  Buy Oreos!  Pringles!  Ding Dongs!

We’re a bunch of health food freaks, you can tell.

Anyway, with the soup on the stove and bread dough rising in a sunny spot on my kitchen counter – this dinner is sure to warm the hearts and the bellies of the FamDam tonight.  No fur coat required.  Enjoy!

Makes 6 Main Course Servings

2 T. olive oil
2 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into ½” cubes (Sendiks Brand Lean Stew Meat is on sale this week, 1/5/11 to 1/11/11)
2 large carrots, peeled and medium dice
1 large onion, medium dice
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bay leaf
2 T. chopped fresh thyme or marjoram
6 c. beef broth
2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes with juices (Red Gold Brand is on sale)
3 c. chopped green cabbage
2 – 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and medium diced
1 c. frozen corn kernels
1 c. frozen peas

Warm bread or soup crackers for serving (Bremner Soup Crackers are on sale)

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a very large pot over medium high heat.  Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper.  Working in batches, add beef to pot; sauté until outside is no longer pink, about 4 minutes per batch.  Transfer browned meat to plate and repeat until all beef is browned.  Add carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme to pan; sauté five minutes.  Add beef broth, tomatoes with juices, cabbage, potatoes, and browned meat to the pot.  Bring to a simmer; partially cover pot, reduce heat, and simmer until beef and vegetables are tender, about an hour.  Stir in corn and peas, simmer until heated through, about five minutes.  Season soup to taste with salt and pepper; ladle into heated soup bowls and serve with bread or crackers.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | January 4th, 2011