The last few weeks have been absurd around here. Lots events, and lots of illness. I think we ran ourselves ragged, and are now paying for it. But that’s life right?…
Simple food is the best food.
Not just because it’s easier to cook, but only using a handful of ingredients really lets them shine. I love this recipe because it does just that, mostly highlighting the pastured beef. We have been switching over to all local, pastured, no-hormone meats, and while it’s more expensive the improvement in taste is quite noticeable. Not to mention, it’s summer and there is so much produce in season right now. I love a meal that combines quality ingredients with easy preparation….
Traditionally in the states we all don green, drink green beer, and eat boiled corned beef with cabbage to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. While I love the holiday for all the fun I’ve had over the years these days I get more excited for the leftovers. I mean a good Rueben, Irish vegetable soup (made with leftover boiled carrots and potatoes) and of course corned beef hash are in fact some of my favorites.
Something I love about going to grandma’s house is that everyone is greeted with a cup of tea, and offered mounds of food. We spend most of our time there gathered around the kitchen table, and that’s how it’s always been. I love that on any given day, you might never know who is stopping by. It’s like a comfortable adventure there.
Sometime last year I had been one ofthose random guests to stop by and gram offered me a vegetable soup she had made. It was one of the best soups I had eaten in a long time, so of course I turned the conversation to how she made it exactly, and in a few short instructions she told me the jist of it, and gave me a soup bone she had in the freezer to make me own with. Grandmas are always good and generous like that.
It took me a try or two to get it right, and then I added my own twist, since we are avoiding wheat products right now. Gram’s original recipe uses short pasta, or couscous, where I used lentils, but that’s the only real change.
Keep in mind this is a slow cooked soup, meaning it takes a long time, but that’s what makes it so good. All the caramelization, and concentrated flavor are necessary, trust me. Take the time and try it. You won’t be sorry.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1lb meaty soup bones
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, peeled, and chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- ½ cup dry wine
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup French green lentils
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
- Heat the oil in a large soup pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the soup bone with salt, pepper, paprika, and sugar. Add it to the pot and sauté until it is well browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the onion, carrot and celery and cook until softened, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the wine, broth and tomatoes. Cover and cook over low heat for 2 hours, at which point the meat should be tender.
- Remove the meat from the pan to a rimmed sheet and let cool. When you can easily handle the bones remove the remaining meat from the bone, cut into bite size pieces and return the meat to the pan.
- Add the lentils, tomato paste, and parsley to the pan and stir until well blended. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
- Stir in the veggies and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Adjust seasonings and serve.
Stew might be the only acceptable answer to that question. I’ve gotten pretty good on the stew front as well if I do say so myself.
Random note: I also like to add frozen green beans at the end sometimes, because a meal is not complete without some green in it, and again I don’t always have the time to make a salad.
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lbs top sirloin steaks cut into ½ inch pieces
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 yellow onion, peeled & diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1 cup baby carrots, halved
- 2-3 large white potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 cups of beef broth
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- In a large thick bottomed skillet heat the oil over medium high heat.
- Toss the meat in flour, salt and pepper and then add to the oil. Stir and cook for about a minute while the meat browns.
- Add the onions and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the onions begin to brown.
- Add the garlic, celery, carrots. Cook for another 2 minutes before adding the potato, broth, thyme, and bay leaf.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook, uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Remove the bay leaf, and adjust seasonings. Serves warm.