Saturday, November 15, 2008

Southern Quick Fix Vegetable Beef Soup

Good old fashioned vegetable beef soup, shortcut with lean sirloin in a beef and tomato base, with onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn and whatever leftover or frozen veggies you have on hand.
Good old fashioned vegetable beef soup, shortcut with lean sirloin in a beef and tomato base, with onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn and whatever leftover or frozen veggies you have on hand.

Southern Quick Fix Vegetable Beef Soup

Noticing that I had some sirloin tip steak in the freezer and deciding on making up a batch of vegetable beef soup today, sure reminded me of my Grandma.

She passed on a couple years back at the ripe age of 97 and boy she sure was a great cook. When I think of vegetable beef soup I think of her and how every time she'd cook up a batch she'd always say "you just can't find a good soup bone anymore." I remembered as a young gal not at all interested in cooking at the time, I thought, "you can buy bones at the grocery??" but I always just smiled.

She had not had an easy life, raising a slew of boys as a single working mother back in those days, but she was a sweetheart who was loved by many, all of whom called her affectionately, Miss Mac. As an adult, I was always honored to just sit with her and listen to her stories, whether it was over a simple cup of coffee, as much as I did when she had cooked a meal for the whole family.

She's right though ... you really can't hardly find a good soup bone anywhere these days.

Grandma Mac never had any recipes written down and I sure wish she had, because she had a killer chicken spaghetti - a homemade version made from a hen, and not the kind of cheesy chicken spaghetti most folks think about - a recipe I have done my best to replicate. Well, close as I could anyways. Anyway, this soup isn't quite Grandma Mac's exact recipe either, but it is close enough to bring back some mighty fond memories of her.

I wrote this for sirloin for a quicker cook time, but when I have time, I love to substitute a braising roast or stew meat instead, adding in those beef bones for that slow simmer. Just allow for a longer cooking time before adding in your potatoes and/or vegetables. If you want to let the soup low simmer for awhile, wait to add the potatoes until about 20 minutes before serving.

For an added layer of flavor, roast off the beef bones first. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the bones in oil and roast, turning about every 15 minutes, for about 40 to 45 minutes or until nicely browned. Take care not to burn the bones as they will make the stock bitter. Remove, transfer the bones and any drippings to the soup pot.

Here's how to make one of my homemade vegetable beef soup - it's one of my favorite soups.

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Recipe: Mary's Quick Fix Southern Vegetable Beef Soup

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 pounds beef sirloin tip steak
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped potato
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Creole or Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama) or to taste, optional
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups beef broth or stock
  • 2 teaspoons beef base (like Better than Bouillon), or bouillon
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 cups dried egg noodles, cooked
Instructions

Heat oil in a tall soup pot over medium high heat. Cut steak into bite size pieces. Add to oil and cook over medium high until nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Add onion, celery, carrots and potatoes and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add the salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, water, beef stock, beef base, tomatoes; bring just up to a boil. Add the frozen vegetables, return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir in parsley, taste and adjust seasonings as needed, and hold over low heat until serving. Prepare egg noodles separately, spoon cooked noodles into a serving bowl, and ladle the soup on top.

For Braising Roast: When using a braising roast, I highly recommend the addition of beef bones. You'll want about a pound. To substitute a braising roast or stew meat, sear off the bones if using, then the meat first, remove and set aside while you cook the onion, carrots and celery. Add water, increase broth to 6 cups and add seasoning, bring to a boil, return whole roast to pot, cover and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until roast is tender. Remove and tear or cut into bite-sized pieces or chop and return to soup pot with the potato, corn, vegetables and parsley; cook until potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings. If you prefer to hold the soup on a simmer for awhile, wait to add the potatoes until about 20 minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes: You can use whatever frozen veggies you like, just taken into account some take longer to cook than others - like frozen butter beans for instance - so, unless they are precooked and leftover, plan accordingly as you are adding the vegetables to your soup. For an added layer of flavor, roast off the beef bones first. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the bones in oil and roast, turning about every 15 minutes, for about 40 to 45 minutes or until nicely browned. Take care not to burn the bones as they will make the stock bitter. Remove, transfer the bones and any drippings to the soup pot.


Alternatively you may also add the noodles to the soup. They tend to absorb a great deal of the liquid however, so I personally prefer cooking them separately and serving the soup on top of them in individual serving bowls. If you use regular bouillon in place of beef base, adjust added salt in the recipe.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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