Monday, January 04, 2010
Baby, It's Cold Outside, or Time to Make Soup!
Cold weather and post-holiday diets require soup. My absolute favorite is my own family's particular vegetable soup made from the bones of the Christmas roast! Here is the soup I make. If this shows up in any cookbook published by anyone other than myself, ever, you're a pinhead, and I'll come to pinch your head off as soon as I possibly can find you. In other words, I hold the copyright to the following soup instructions. It's a work of art. Oh, and no, I have no intention of emulating the Pioneer Woman. I just happen to think that this was a particularly pretty pot of soup.
Saute one onion and 1-2 cloves garlic in the olive oil in the bottom of a pan until translucent.
Add beef bones (hopefully with some meat still on them, so it can cook off into the soup), a carton of beef stock, 1/2 a head of cabbage (chopped), 2-3 carrots, about 3-4 stalks of chopped celery with leaves, 1 can red kidney beans, 1 large can of diced tomatoes, one bag of frozen soup vegetables or mixed vegetables, this time I added 1/2 a bag of shelled edamame for giggles, 1/2 cup of barley, 1-2 potatoes depending on how large.
I add all the vegetables to the stock first to see how much water I need to add. I like a nice balance between broth and hearty spoonfuls of vegetables.
To the liquid I add a dash of worchestershire sauce, about a glass worth of dry red wine, a dash of red wine vinegar (if needed. sometimes it already has enough "sour." I didn't need it this time.) I season with salt and pepper to taste, two cupped palms full of dried thyme, one cupped palm full of dried rosemary, one cupped palm full of herbes de provence (optional), 2-3 bay leaves.
This sounds like a lot of stuff, and it takes about 30-45 minutes to prep, but I start it early in the day and let it simmer on low heat for most of the day (like a crock pot meal--so conceivably you could do it in the crock pot), and the flavor is amazing. This is how my mom taught me to make vegetable soup and how her mom taught her. So far no one has felt the need to change it. We practically survive on this kind of soup through the winter. Get some crusty whole grain rolls to go with it and you are set!