Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Vegetable Soup

Vegetable soup is one of those great meals that I never get tired of. It seems like I can eat leftovers of it for days. And with all the great produce available right now, it seemed like a great time to share my recipe. However, I am not sure if recipe is the right word.....more like method.

In a large pot over medium high heat, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add in 1 pound of trimmed stew meat cut into bite size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Brown meat for 2-3 minutes and add in 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots, and 3 chopped potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Let the veggies brown with the meat for another 2-3 minutes and pour in 1/2 cup of red wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pan and add in a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, 4 Cups beef broth and 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Bring pot to boil and turn to low and simmer.

Above is the base of my vegetable soup. This is how I start it every time. It's the next part that seems to change every time and it has to do with what vegetables I have on hand or what is in season. Once the liquid comes to simmer, add in any vegetables you like. Really. You can add in as much or as little as you like. Just make sure that everything will be able to be submerged under the liquid. Canned, frozen or fresh vegetables can be used. Don't worry about thawing anything frozen but I do like to drain any canned veggies I use. Once all the vegetables are in, season with more salt and pepper. Simmer for 3 to 4 hours until the beef is tender and serve.

The vegetables I used for this batch were: fresh broccoli, canned green beans and wax beans, frozen peas and corn.

But also think about: lima beans, brussel sprouts (frozen work great!), cabbage (one of my favorites), cauliflower, diced tomatoes (canned ones work well) and really anything else you want to try.

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