Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winter Vegetable Soup, or, An Accidental Stew



Earlier this week, I was flipping through my crockpot cookbook and I had such a yen for soup. I saw a recipe for Winter Vegetable Soup and knew it would hit the spot.

Unfortunately for me, I rememebered--at work that morning--that I had completely forgotten about dinner and my crockpot was tucked away in the cabinet and my carrots were still in the crisper. Oops.

Since improvisation is sometimes the best kind of cooking, I decided to wing it with the same ingredients, just stovetop style. I was nervous that it wouldn't completely work out in my favor, but it definitely did. The outcome ended up being thicker than soup, which is why I'm calling this An Accidental Stew. I didn't intend for that to happen, but it did. Regardless of the outcome this was delicious and filling and perfect for a disturbingly cold winter evening.

Winter Vegetable "Soup"
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

1 lb. beef for stewing, cut into evenly sized chunks
Drizzle of olive oil
2 c. beef stock
1/2 c. dry red wine
3 parsnips, peeled and chopped (I sliced them into coins)
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 medium-sized turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 potato, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, liquid included
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz. cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp. parsley, dried or fresh

Lightly season the beef with salt and pepper, and drizzle a little olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Brown the beef on all sides, and remove to a plate when done.

Pour beef stock and wine into pot. Deglaze the pot and scrape up all the delicious brown bits on the bottom. Add the vegetables to the pot, followed by the tomatoes (undrained), a sprinkling of salt and pepper, followed by your herbs. Stir in the beans and give it all a big stir. Add the meat back into the pot.

Cook on medium heat for 1-2 hours, until beef is tender. Stir in dried or fresh parsley just before serving.

Notes:
  • This was really good. The potatoes and turnip melted into the liquid and made this hearty and filling.
  • You can also add rutebegas. I realized as I was throwing this together that they would have stood up beautifully to the other flavors in the stew.
  • This is a good way to get some necessary nutrients to build up your immune system in winter.
  • If you really want a stew, my mom likes to stir in mashed potato flakes into her stews to make them thicker. I don't think this needs it, but it'll definitely take it to "stew" over "stoup".

1 comment:

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