I found myself longing for that tasty treat myMother used to make in the Fall when we were young hellions in Virginia. Vegetable soup or Vegetable Beef Soup. Mom used to make a big pot of this on Sundays and it would simmer for hours on the stove or all day in the crock pot. There were 8 kids so she used a huge oval Blue speckled roasting pan to cook this in. We would go to church and then rush home to devour a bowl full of this wonderful tasty treat. I don't remember mom's recipe but I will ask her and post it later this month. With the fall and cooler weather finally hitting my area I'm ready for some tasty soups. This is the first of a few I feel the need to share with you guys.
VEGETABLE and BEEF SOUP
To prep you will need some counter space, a cutting board, chef knife, paring knife, veggie peeler, measuring cups and spoons. Large pot with lid for soup, I use a wooden spoon to stir.
I use measuring cups but I was trained years ago in my chef apprenticeship program to use my hands to add spices and seasonings and eyball it. So I will convert when possible to tsp and tblsp. I have a few stock pots that I use but my main ones are an 8 Quart a 4 Quart and I sometimes use a 3 Quart for smaller quantities. The 4 Quart provided at least 10-14 servings in LARGE bowls. So you could get 10 servings easily from a 4 quart stock pot. I used this recipe in the 4 Quart and it was full to the rim. I used fresh veggies when available and only used 3 canned veggies. Corn, Black eyed peas and Stewed Tomatoes. You can substitute Kidney beans, lima beans, garbanzo beans or any other canned bean. you can use stew beef or pork. I used pork in my latest. You can get a small roast and cube it to save money.
Clean and wash your hands and place the pot on the stove and start it off with a nice saute of some of the veggies and beef. You will need 3/4 gallon water or beef stock 2 large onions, chopped, 2-3 lbs of beef chunks cut into 1 1/2" cubes2-3 tablespoons flour (for dredging)2 tablespoons olive oil 3 stalks of celery, sliced, strings removed 3 tablespoons beef soup base or bouillon most cubes are 1 cube per cup I used 5 cubes to 8 cups. (Optional you can add 2 tablespoons wine (sherry, port or marsala)), 6-8 red bliss potatoes, leave the peeling on and , cut into 2 inch cubes 4 large carrots, peeled, sliced into 1/2" coins, 2 bay leaves, 1 bag of fresh green beans, (About 4 hand fulls). 1 regular can Stewed tomatoes 14-16 ozs, 1 can of Black Eyed Peas or other Canned cooked Beans, one can of corn niblets (not creamed corn). 1 clove of Garlic peeled and chopped or 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic from the jar, curry powder, basil, salt and pepper, to taste. I clean the fresh green beans by weashing them and then holding about 10 to 15 beans in my hand and then pinch of the ends of each side of the beans with my fingernail. then snap or cut the beans in half . Continue until you have snapped all of the beans. The Celery and carrots should be washed and peel the carrots. Then slice these two veggies on the Slant to make thin slices the carrots should look like oblong coins...
If you prefer all veggies and no beef then substitute vegetable broth for beef and add hearty tubers like parsnips and turnips.
Dredge beef in flour and sauté in olive oil until browned, add the chopped onins, celery and carrots and stir in 1 to 2 table spoons of Curry powder and sprinkle in a table spoon or 2 of basil. After the onions have appeared transparent or (sweated) add the garlic during last few minutes of browning. Add wine if used to remove browned bits from bottom of pot.
Add water or stock, bay leaves to the stock pot. If you have beef broth it can be used now if not then add the bouillon with either the loose bouillon from the jar like Knorr Swiss or the cubed bouillon; and bring to a boil. while you are bringing to a boil add the green beans. Cover and cook for one hour at a slow boil or simmer. (Small bubbles that lightly break the surface, a 2 on most electric stoves.) . Other seasonings may also be added at this time (a pinch of oregano or italian seasoning, a dash of garlic or onion powder, salt and pepper, etc - season to taste).
Once you have simmered for an hour, stir in cubed potatoes, simmer for another 30 minutes, and add the canned corn , Beans and Stewed Tomatoes. Continue cooking for 40 more minutes.
If using a slow cooker, set to low, add remaining ingredients at the start and leave to simmer for several hours or more, until ready to serve.
During final 1/2 hour of cooking, soup may be thickened, if desired, by sprinkling on and stirring in 1 tablespoon of flour; or stir 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch into 1 cup cold water or broth, then add.
Remove bay leaves before serving.
Served either with thickener or without, as your family likes it. Refrigerated leftovers as this is even better the next day!