Beef Broth and Vegetable Soup

Beef BrothYou got a day? Good because when you have that day, this one is a must make. It is the process of making rich beef broth. Once you have the broth, use it how you would like, in my case I created my mom’s vegetable soup, however you could use it for the french onion soup as well. This recipe is extremely easy to make, however the only factor is time, and when I say time, I mean 8-12 hours. The broth literally takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and the rest of the time is letting it cook on the stove. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Large Soup Pot to hold everything listed below
  • 2 Large Onions
  • 4 Large Tomatoes
  • Bag of Celery, cleaned and base removed
  • 3 bulbs of garlic
  • 1 bag of carrots, washed
  • Beef bones
  • Package of short ribs (I used boneless beef ribs as I wanted more meat)
  • Red wine (optional)
  • Water

Vegetable SoupStart by rinsing your tomatoes, carrots, and celery. In your large soup pot, add everything. You do not have to cut up anything, nor do you have to remove the skin from the onion or garlic. Fill the pot with water and put it on the stove on medium heat. Once the soup has came to a boil, put it on medium-low heat, covered, and let this simmer for eight hours or more. Once the broth has cooked, strain the meat and the vegetables. I used a large spoon strainer for this process, making sure to get the bone out of the meat. I let this cool outside as it is cold in Wisconsin right now. In the morning, I took the solidified fat and threw it out.

This creates your beef broth.

For the vegetable soup, I brought the broth to a rolling boil, and then brought it back to simmer. During this time, I added the following ingredients for the soup, and stemmed away from my mom’s recipe as she does like adding corn or potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bag of frozen peas
  • 1 cup of corn
  • 2 potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 pound of chopped, fresh green beans
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Add these ingredients and let cook for an hour or so. I left the soup pot on simmer all day and fed many people, including myself several times over. This is an excellent soup and could be eaten with some great crusty bread, by itself, or with the pepperoni rolls. Enjoy.

Garlic Soup

Garlic SoupBefore I go on, this soup is a must make. Not only is it simple to make, but it is amazing in flavor. My parents have been wanting me to make a garlic soup recipe that they state is ‘out of this world’, and trust me, I think about it a lot, however I have yet to make it. Instead, I made my own. Simple ingredients, great flavors. Lets just say that my wife and I looked at one another and defined it as a money making soup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Heads roasted garlic
  • 3 potatoes, cut in small cubes
  • 2 Large Leeks, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 Large Onion (I used one medium yellow, and 1/2 medium red)
  • 8-12 cups of Chicken stock
  • Heavy Cream
  • Olive Oil

Garlic SoupIt does not get any easier than that. Start by peeling your garlic. I do this by separating the cloves (I wack them with my knife, which allows for easier peeling). Add them to a small bowl and toss with olive oil to lightly coat. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 and once heated, add the garlic to a baking pan, uncovered, and roast for 20-25 minutes. During the roasting time, chop your onions, potatoes, and leeks. You will want to make sure that after you chop the leeks that you clean them thoroughly as dirt gets between the skin. Once you have prepared the vegetables, heat a large soup pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Add the onions and leeks and let them sweat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock and the garlic, and bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for roughly 25 minutes.

Garlic SoupThe next step is to use a blender or an immersion blender to puree soup. Be mindful that when adding hot soup to a blender, to carefully not overfill, as well as use a towel to cover the top seal of the blender. Pressure can build up and explode, trust me, it has happened to me before. I actually used a large spoon that allowed me to strain the vegetables from the broth. I transferred the vegetables to the blender, then added a cup or so of the broth to move things through. You could get rustic here and let it go a bit chunky, however I pureed mine. Pour the mixture back into the soup broth, and bring back to temperature.

When you are ready to serve, ladle into your soup bowls and sprinkle a bit of nutmeg on top. You can serve this alone, or trust me, it would go good with pretty much anything onion, potato, and garlic go with. Enjoy.

Beer Bread with Cheddar and Onion

Beer Bread with Cheddar CheeseLately, I have been experimenting with baking bread, probably due to the fact that the rosemary bread was so delicious. Aaron, one of my coworkers, stated that his wife makes a great beer bread and that he can consume pretty much the entire loaf. I decided to do a little bit of research on making bread, without yeast, and decided to go at my attempt of beer bread. Before reading any further, just go ahead and make this bread. It was amazing.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, or whatever cheese you prefer
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped onion; red onion would be really good as well
  • 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 12 ounce can of your favorite beer

Beer Bread with Cheddar CheeseNow it does not get any easier than this. First preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While preheating, add all the ingredients, excluding the beer. Mix well. Once thoroughly mixed, slowly begin to add the beer, allowing it to soak through and make a thick batter. Scrape the sides once or twice throughout this process.

Once ready, lightly grease a bread pan (I only have an 8×4 pan), then lightly flour. Add the bread batter and smooth out any edges. Cook for roughly 65-70 minutes. Once done, remove from the pan and let cool.

I served mine with beef stew, and ate it throughout the day. How do you make your bread, yeast or no yeast?

Three Mushroom Soup

Mushroom SoupI wanted to provide a soup and salad to my Thanksgiving meal this year, like most years. Instead of the traditional butternut squash soup with roasted pistachios, I decided to make a soup I did a few years back, the three mushroom soup. I chose this soup because it was not only delicious, but one that was also super easy to make in a short amount of time.

The ingredients could not be easier:

  • 1 lb Fresh Shitake Mushrooms
  • 1 lb Fresh Portabella Mushrooms
  • 1 lb Button Mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup of Sherry Cooking Wine
  • 1/2 cup of Half-and-Half
  • 3 TB of Olive Oil
  • 4-6 Cups of Beef Stock
  • 3 TB of Flour
  • 1 Medium Onion, Chopped

Mushroom SoupClean all of your mushrooms. If you have never done this before, either use a mushroom brush which you could buy in a store, or simply dampen a paper towel and lightly rub the dirt off the shrooms. I did this the night before to save time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day. If you go this route, store them in a brown paper bag. Heat the oil in a soup pan. During this time, chop the onion and sautee in the oil for 3-5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Heck, I was even thinking of taking this further and let them caramelize, as the last batch of caramelized onions were so delicious, however I decided to not got that far, this time. 🙂 Once the onions are ready, add all of the mushrooms, and toss in with the onions and oil. These will begin to cook down after 5 or 6 minutes or so. Add the stock, and reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for nearly 15-20 minutes.

Mushroom SoupThe next step is to ladle in batches the soup into a blender and puree the mixture. This will take a couple of batches. I leave a bit of the mushrooms in the pot to make it a bit more rustic. After pureeing the mix, return to mix to the soup pot, and bring the heat back up to medium. During this time, add the sherry and half-and-half. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Cook for a few minutes, then serve immediately.

I served mine with a large garlic and onion crouton I made that morning for the Caesar salad. Bon Appetite.