Saturday, February 21, 2015

More Soup!

Soup and stew weather continues.  Today I decided to try a beef , veggie and pasta creation.

1 large onion chopped
3-4 stalks of Celery chopped
4-5 carrots chopped
1 shallot  chopped (optional- I had it and needed to use it)
2 cloves of garlic chopped
sweet peppers chopped
1 box mushrooms quartered
2-3 small red skin potatoes quartered
1 medium can chopped tomatoes
1 cup favorite shaped pasta
3/4 to 1 pound beef pot roast (bone in if you can find it.)
2-3 strips of bacon chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper

Chop the bacon and saute it over medium heat in a soup pot.  Add the onions, add a splash of olive oil if needed. When the onions have started to cook, add the celery, carrots, shallot, garlic, peppers, potatoes, and mushrooms and allow to saute for 10-15 minutes.  Add the canned tomatoes, and 2 cans of water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the beef and cover.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 3-4 hours.  You want the beef to be cooked to the point that it breaks apart easily with a spoon.  Adjust seasoning, add pasta, cover and allow to simmer an additional 20-30 minutes.  The pasta will absorb much of the liquid - thickening the soup to a hearty soup.

If you are serious about cooking with fresh ingredients, a good start is keeping carrots, celery and onions on hand.  Buy real carrots, some of the varieties of "baby" carrots do not stand up well to simmering for 2-4 hours. A rinse and once over with a good peeler and a quick chop and the real thing goes into a soup or stew easily.  Carrots store well, staying fresh for 2-4 weeks.  Celery is another staple, I have discovered that if I keep it wrapped in plastic is keeps for 2-3 weeks and can be used in a soup or stew even if it has started to get a little limp.  A quick whack takes both ends off, rinse well and it is fun to chop.  I can't imagine cooking without onions, most of my recipes start with chop an onion. I buy a box of mushrooms every week and almost always find a use for them. In my area Trader Joes' has good mushrooms for a great price.  I rinse them and trim the stem, for this soup I wanted them chunkier in the final product so I quartered them.  They are easy to cut, don't buy them pre-sliced.  I generally keep shallots - a small sweeter member of the onion family on hand, you can buy them in bulk at most Whole Foods markets - they keep for a month or so.  I use a little garlic - it gives me gas - so I use very little.

For the beef for this I could have used stew beef, I found this nice slice of pot-roast.  The bone rendered out nicely, adding a lot of flavor from the marrow (the center of the bone.)


  1. Did you like it enough to do it again/recommend it?

  2. Oh yes, I cook this kind of thing from feel, the ingredients vary. The addition of tomatoes significantly changes the finished soup from what the same soup would be without them.