Sunday, May 1, 2016

Jean's Best Vegetable Soup #SundaySupper

A rich beef broth is flavored with crushed tomatoes and a selection of vegetables. Jean’s Best Vegetable Soup will sustain you through good times and bad. It’s nutritious and filling in the best possible way. 

At the first sign of a cold front in the fall, my mom would say, “Ooooh, vegetable soup weather!” and the big soup pot would be extracted from its home right at the back of the cupboard. Some beefy bones would be put in, well covered with water, to simmer for several hours. Vegetables were chopped and diced, ready for adding in later. The steamy kitchen was a warm place to gather, waiting for that first bowl of savory, strengthening soup. I would have to put it up near the top of the list of my mom’s favorite things to eat, along with potatoes (which are in the soup too) and smothered pork chops.

While I looked forward to the vegetable soup too, I had reservations. If you’ve read my recipe post for browned butter braised baby turnips, you’ll understand. In a nutshell, it was hard to get too enthusiastic about soup that also had bitter turnips, which I detested, masquerading as innocent potatoes.

Since our Sunday Supper family is sharing Mom’s Favorite Recipes today, and I’m over my turnip phobia, I thought it was time to make the soup and make it right, turnips and all.

A while back, my mom sent me her recipe. Here is the ingredient list, in her own words. I’ve added the weights and measures as a guide. That said, know that you can vary the vegetables and amounts to your taste so don’t get too hung up on what each ingredient weighs.

Mom starts by saying, throw in some beef bones if you can find some and let them boil away before you add your ribs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my hands on any beef bones so my method starts with browning the short ribs for more flavor.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil – my addition, for browning the short ribs
  • beef short ribs - 2 lbs 5 1/2 oz or 1.065kg
  • a little tomato sauce for color (not too much)
    (this is a vegetable soup, not an Italian soup, ha!) - 2 tablespoons
  • small can of crushed tomatoes - 14oz or 400g 
  • small onion – 3 oz or 85g
  • small bell pepper  - 4 oz or 115g
  • small stem of celery - 1 3/4 oz or 50g
  • potatoes – 5 medium or about 1+lbs or 500g
  • turnips (just enough to frighten the poor soul who doesn't like turnips) – 3 medium - I totally forgot to weigh these.
  • carrots  - 2 large - 9 1/2 oz or 270g
  • mixed frozen veggies - 1 3/4 cups or 225g
  • small amount of cabbage – 5 1/3 oz or 150g
  • SOMETIMES I will put in zucchini  -  6 small - 9 1/2 oz or 270g
  • SOMETIMES I will put in cauliflower if I have some on hand.        
  • SOMETIMES I will put in yellow squash - I didn't have either

Note: Fresh or frozen veggies are better than canned.



Method
Brown short ribs on all sides in a little olive oil over a high heat in your largest soup pot.



Remove the browned meat from the pot and set aside.



Finely chop your onion, bell pepper and celery.  Sauté them in the oil left behind from the fatty short ribs, till softened. Scrape up all the sticky goodness from the meat into the vegetables.



Add meat back in, along with the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add water to cover more than twice the depth of the beef.



Bring to the boil then put a tight fitting lid on the pot and simmer for three or four hours.

Peel and chop the carrots and potatoes. Peel turnips but leave them whole so you can find them again. It’s all very well to eat them, but I still don’t like to be surprised. If you love turnips, you can cut them, of course.

Add in the potatoes, carrots and turnips, along with the frozen vegetables.

Oddly, the turnips are the only things that float initially. They probably aren't witches though. Probably.


Bring to a slow boil, cover and simmer again for an hour or so.

If a lot of fat from the short ribs has risen to the top, you might want to skim some off with a spoon.

About half an hour before you are serving, thinly slice cabbage and cut zucchini into chunks. Add them to the soup.



When the zucchini is cooked to your liking, Jean's best vegetable soup is done. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


Enjoy! In our family, we'd also add a shake or two of some Louisiana hot sauce to each bowl at the table.



Has your mother passed down a special recipe to you or is there something special you always make for her? These are Mom's Favorite Recipes from my Sunday Supper family.

Many thanks to Christie of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures and Wendy of Wholistic Woman for hosting!

Starters (Appetizers, Beverages, Breakfast)
Salads, Side Dishes, and Sauces
Main Dishes
Desserts
Plus, if you are looking for hints about what to get Mom for Mother's Day, you'll want to read this: What Mom Really Wants for Mother’s Day and Mom’s Favorite Recipes  from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.


And it wasn't half bad. 
.

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