Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Shakespeare ~ from Macbeth
Yesterday I showed you my new cast iron Dutch oven and how to season it. Today I want to share with you an old stand-by recipe that I made in it. When I was growing up, Saturday's were marked by a huge pot of some sort of soup or chili on the stove. As various family members or friends dropped by the house, there was always plenty to share. This is one of those recipes. It's one of those soups that I turn to all the time when the cold weather sets in. Keep in mind that if you don't like an ingredient you can skip it. You can also add more of something that you love - or add another ingredient that you think would be awesome. This is just a guideline.
Vegetable Beef Soup and Gluten-free Cornbread
VEGETABLE BEEF SOUP
2 pounds stew beef
1 medium to large sized onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 potatoes, washed and diced
1 quart green beans, drained
1 cup red wine, optional
1 large can (49.5 oz) beef broth
salt and pepper
Heat your pot with some oil on med-high heat. I used lard. Once it's nice and hot, add your stew beef. Brown it on all sides, by stirring occasionally. Next, add your onion and garlic and just a bit of salt and pepper. If you add the salt and pepper in stages, the soup will have a richer flavor because one ingredient won't taste flat.
Once the onion starts to become translucent, add the wine if you're using it. If not, use 1 cup of your broth. Although the wine is optional, I feel it really adds a depth to the flavor that you won't get otherwise. Turn your heat down to medium and let cook for about 5 minutes while you prepare your other vegetables. As they're cleaned and chopped, add the celery, carrots and potatoes in that order. Add the rest of your broth, cover and simmer until the carrots and potatoes are tender.
Once your veggies are done, add the green beans. Taste the broth and add bit more salt and pepper and some thyme. I didn't measure the thyme, but I would start with a couple of teaspoons for this amount of soup. Let the soup simmer for about another half hour to marry the flavors. Just before serving, taste the broth and adjust the seasonings again, if necessary.
It's better to add seasonings a bit at a time. You can always add more, but can't take it out if you add too much.
This is a huge batch of soup. I feel it's better to make more and then have extra to freeze for lunches or another dinner because it's no extra work. If that's not your bag, cut the recipe in half.
If you don't have a garden and can your own beans, use two cans of store bought beans instead.
Sometimes I add corn to this. You could also add parsnips, green pepper, mushrooms or any other veggie you love. Also, you could add rice, barley or noodles to the broth at the time you add your green beans.
If you make steak, roasts or ribs - save those bones and make your own beef stock. Not only will it save you $$, it doesn't get any more nutritious than homemade bone broth. We just bought a grass-fed cow and I have a freezer full of bones that I will be using to make lots of broth with with the next week or so. Unfortunately, I didn't have it ready for this pot of soup.
Do you have a favorite soup recipe that you turn to all the time?
I'm linking up with Simple Lives Thursday, These Chicks Cooked, Cast Party Wednesday and Homestead Barn Hop.