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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

WCC #10 - Neglected Gadgets

Once Sara announced the theme that this month's guest host, Mary of The Sour Dough chose for WCC #10, I knew exactly which gadget I'd be using. My foodmill! I watch shows on HGTV and FoodTV where chefs use their foodmills quite often, but I only use mine when I am making my beef vegetable soup. Specifically, for the tomatoes I add to the soup.

I usually make vegetable soup once a year - at the beginning of Autumn when I start my many months of craving homemade soup. Hubbs is the main soup chef of the house, his chicken soup is to die for.. but I'm in charge of the beef vegetable variety. Although this recipe was passed to me by my loverly Mommie and not found in a neglected cookbook, I could not pass up the opportunity to contribute this recipe for WCC #10 just because of the foodmill, which usually sits on a shelf in my pantry collecting dust, poor thing.

I make my soup at this time of year because it's the perfect time to use up the last of the garden tomatoes. I boil them for just a few seconds, and then throw them into the food mill and give them a quick grind. I like them to stay a little chunky so I only turn the handle maybe 2-3 times. Just enough to pass them through, shedding their skin. The milled fresh tomatoes adds a richness to this soup that brings it over the top IMHO. Although I have nothing against throwing in canned and frozen veggies in soup, I prefer to make my beef veggie soup with all fresh ingredients, right down to the fresh bay leaves (and yeah, I will spend the $2.95 for a package of fresh bay leaves, just to use two in this recipe. I'm ca-racy when it comes to this favorite soup of mine.)

Not only does this soup have a wonderful deep beefy flavor, but it makes quite a bit and freezes well, so that you can enjoy it all through the winter months - or whenever you feel like a bowl of homemade soup! Warm from the oven breadsticks or just a handful of crackers along with a nice salad of baby greens, shaved fennel and parmigiano is all that's needed to make this soup the highlight of a cozy, comforting dinner. I hope you try it.. it's fantastic! :D

Beef Vegetable Soup
Beef Vegetable Soup

1 1/2 - 2 lb. sirloin steak, cut into chunks
2 TBS. olive oil
1 medium vidalia onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 celery stalks, wiped clean and sliced
4 garden tomatoes, boiled then ran through food mill
2-3 ears of corn, kernels sliced off cob
1 (8 oz.) carton of button mushrooms, these can be left whole or sliced thick
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. fresh green beans, snipped and cut into 1" pieces
1 med. zucchini, sliced in coins and then quartered
5 c. beef stock (I use the stock you buy in the cartons when I don't have fresh stock on hand. I do not use beef broth, it's just not flavorful enough)
2 c. water
1/3 c. soy sauce
2 TBS. Worcestershire sauce
2 fresh bay leaves
salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1/2 c. barley (optional)

In a large stock pot, brown the steak in the olive oil, then transfer to a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery and saute until just softened. Add the next 11 ingredients and the reserved steak and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for at least 1 hour. Taste for seasoning, add the salt and pepper and the barley if using it, then simmer for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, or until the barley has softened and swelled. If the barley soaks up too much of the stock, add a little more water. You can cut the cooking time by quite a bit if you use quick cooking barley.

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Comments on "WCC #10 - Neglected Gadgets"

 

Anonymous Ellie said ... (11/01/2006 8:42 AM) : 

Mm, looks hearty and filling! Hehe, I can understand about the bay leaves - but the good thing about them is that they freeze so damn well, and are tough enough to withstand most battering and icy-ness that happens in my freezer!

 

Blogger Brilynn said ... (11/01/2006 10:04 AM) : 

Looks like a great comfort soup, definitely a reason to dig out that food mill.

 

Blogger Sara said ... (11/01/2006 5:58 PM) : 

Oh that looks so good - perfect not only for WCC but also for the cooler weather!

 

Anonymous Ivonne said ... (11/01/2006 8:21 PM) : 

You are such an amazing cook! While we use our food mill all the time, you should use yours more often if you create beautiful dishes like this!

 

Blogger Lis said ... (11/02/2006 9:20 AM) : 

Duh Ellie!! I never thought to freeze them, how stupid am I? I'll remember from here on out, thank you! :D

Brilynn - thank you dear =)

Sara - Autumn and soup - a fantastic combo, eh? :D

Ivonne - I really do need to use it more often! :D

 

Anonymous Monisha said ... (11/02/2006 10:29 AM) : 

I bet this delicious looking soup drives away any winter chills, perfect for this time of the year!

 

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