I have spent the last few days doing spring cleaning in the Study. It was one of those large reorganizing projects that I didn't have written on my planner. Instead, I was sitting at my desk one day and realized it was past time to pack up what was left of my son's things in the large bookshelf. Since my energy level was good that day, that is exactly what I did.
Thus began what I call an "If you give a mouse a cookie" sort of project, when what started out at most as a half-an-hour of simply packing his collection turned into a huge project of switching and reorganizing shelves in the large bookshelf and the shelves over the dresser. I must admit that I like the results very much but it kind of took over my life for awhile.
All that to say, except for the book reviews, I didn't get any writing accomplished. So at least I will try to write out the recipe for my mom's vegetable beef soup as requested. As with any such recipes, it is more a technique than a "set in stone" recipe. I will copy this to the recipe "blog" soon.
Vegetable Beef Soup
- 1 to 2 lbs. chuck roast (or similar cut of beef)
- 1 package beef bones*
- 1 onion
- 2 or more carrots
- bay leaf and peppercorns (optional)
- soup stock
- chuck roast, cooled and shredded
- 2-14.5 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes**
- carrots, sliced
- potatoes, cut into chunks
- corn, I use one package frozen corn or one can - drained
- green beans, I use one can sliced green beans - drained
- salt and pepper to taste
Place the bones, chuck roast, onion, and carrots into a large dutch oven or a stock pot. Cover with water approx. three to six inches or so above the mix. Add bay leaf and peppercorns if you desire. Simmer until the chuck roast is tender and falls apart with a fork, at least two hours. Check off and on as you will have to add more water.
Transfer the meat to a dish and I drain the stock into a dutch oven pot (I use a metal colander). Discard everything but the meat.
In the dutch oven, add into the stock the two cans of tomatoes, sliced carrots, potatoes, and corn. Some people like to add a sliced parsnip, too. I just never have them on hand. Simmer until veggies are tender, then add back the cooked and shredded meat and the drained can of green beans. Simmer a few minutes longer.
I serve this often the same day I make it, with leftovers the next day. It is one of those soups that taste even better the next day. Of course, all amounts can easily be doubled as necessary.
*When I first started making this soup, most chuck roasts at the grocery store still came bone-in. Then it seems overnight they were all boneless and sometimes you could find packages of bones separately, if you were fortunate. I talked to the butcher at the store (years ago) and he said most meat sent to stores were now boneless. The few packages of bones were all there were.
I learned at that time to always keep a couple packages of bones in the freezer for when I wanted to make soup. However, since the popularity of bone broth began, it is easy to find packages of beef bones. Only now they cost what I used to spend for steaks! But bones are important to this soup for flavor as well as nutrition.
**You can use other tomatoes besides stewed tomatoes but I found they are what gave the soup the same taste as my mother's soup she made. If you don't use stewed tomatoes, you may need to add Italian seasoning or another seasoning you like better.
Image: Vintage housewife :)