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Posts Tagged ‘good soup recipes’

beef-vegetable-soup
All during the NY winter months soup is often on the dinner table.  There is nothing better with a tossed green salad, some homemade bread or a crusty baguette, and, of course, a glass of red.  I normally make a non-meat vegetable soup, but I had just one beef shank in the freezer so thought I’d use it to add some oomph to the vegetables.  Beef shanks are less expensive than many other cuts of beef and, because they are a cross cut from the leg which is well-used muscle, shanks need a long slow braise to melt the connective tissue and tenderize the meat.  Whole shanks are often braised in red wine rather like boeuf bourguignon or cut into pieces for use in all types of stews.  For my soup, I first cooked the shank in a combination of water and stock seasoned with leek greens, a couple of cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper until it was beginning to pull away from the bone.  I used a fairly large soup pot so I can make a big batch, part of which can be frozen for another day. I lifted the cooked meat from the broth and then stained the broth, discarding the solids.  I returned the broth to the pot and added the following with enough extra water to cover the mix by at least an inch, but you can add or subtract anything and still have a terrific pot to feed your body and your soul.  The soup needs to cook for about an hour to allow the flavors to be extracted from the vegetables.

Makes a big pot

One 28 ounce can chopped plum tomatoes
4 large button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced into small pieces
¼ pound green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup frozen lima beans
1 cup frozen peas
A few large handfuls of baby spinach I had leftover from a salad
Salt and pepper

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A week ago I cooked up a batch of dried borlotti beans that I had brought home from my favorite bean brokers, the Rancho Gordo (www.ranchogordo.com) stand (see my post, February 17, 2011) at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza market.  Had a pasta dish, had a salad, and still had some beans left.  So, I poured them into a big pan and added all the necessary veggies – a couple of carrots, a zucchini, a large onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, some frozen corn and peas, mushrooms, a red bell pepper, lima beans, a large can of diced tomatoes – to make a mammoth pot of kinda minestrone – I left out the bits of prosciutto or pancetta that would have made it authentic.  Once the veggies had cooked a bit, I added some elbow macaroni (that I always have to make the go-to mac ‘n cheese for my currently vegetarian granddaughter) and a good bit of salt and pepper.  It was 20 degrees outside and the big bowls of soup, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with a fresh grating of parmesan cheese couldn’t have been more delicious or more warming when supper rolled around.

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