I love making soup. I love eating soup, for that matter. I especially love bringing it in my lunch to work.
There aren’t a lot of options for buying lunch where I work. And, hello? That’s one of the first things in all the articles about personal finance that is recommended–brown bagging it. It saves a pile of money.
Besides, who would want to buy lunch from the nearest fast food joint, when you can have a warm hearty bowl of this?
I used to work at an office that was right beside of a bar. The bar had pretty good food, and did a pretty steady take-out operation for lunch. They had the best beef noodle soup. It was pretty simple, too. I’ve made my own version a few times with deer meat that we’ve canned. Canned deer meat is good for soups because canning it actually cooks the meat, and sometimes it can be a little chewy. The Hubs isn’t real big on soup for lunch like I am though. And he especially isn’t big on the “beef” noodle soup that I make. So this time I decided to spiff it up a little. A little something extra never hurts.
White wine and fresh rosemary kick this soup up a notch or two on the fancy meter.
Fancy “Beef” Noodle Soup (makes 7 generous servings)
- 2 + 2 Tb. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tb flour
- 1 lb. beef or venison stew meat
- 1 quart + 1 pint beef or venison stock
- 1 cup dry white wine
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tb. steak seasoning
- 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 Tb fresh rosemary, chopped fine
- about 3 handfuls dry egg noodles
Heat 2 Tb. of the oil in a large pot. Add the onion and carrots. Turn heat to low and put a lid on the pot. Let the vegetables sweat about 10 minutes, checking occasionally. Once the vegetables are soft, take the lid off and turn the heat up to medium high. Cook, stirring often, until they begin to turn golden brown–about 4 minutes. Add the garlic when the onions and carrots are starting to get a little bit of golden brown to them. Don’t let this burn! Add the other 2 Tb. of oil and sprinkle the 3 Tb. of flour over the vegetables. Stir well until they are all coated with the flour. Add the beef/venison. (If it is uncooked, turn the heat down a bit and cook it for a few minutes until it begins to brown on all sides. Make sure to stir often so the vegetables don’t burn) Stir well and add the stock and wine. Add about another 3/4 to 1 quart of water. Add the mushrooms. Cover the pot and bring it up to a boil. Turn it down to low and let it simmer with the lid on for about 25 or 30 minutes–enough time for all the flavors to get together and for the alcohol to cook out of the wine. Bring the pot back up to a boil and add the egg noodles. This is the tricky part–getting the noodles to just the right doneness without overcooking them. You want to err on the side of slightly undercooked noodles, as they will continue to cook as a the soup cools. I boiled the soup about 5 minutes and tested the noodles. Slightly underdone-perfect! Remove the pot from the burner and serve immediately. As soon as the pot cools enough to put it in the fridge, do so to keep the noodles from getting too mushy. I waited about 30 minutes.
Speaking of soups and bone broth, this couldn’t have been more timely. I wrote most of this post Sunday evening, but this week, my friend Jodie, shared an article on Facebook from Dr. Mercola about the benefits of bone broth, that I wanted to pass along. It really is an unsung superfood. Got a touch of the sniffles? Reach for bone broth instead of the cold meds. It really is true what they say about chicken soup when you’re sick–but only if it’s made with real bone broth, not the stuff that comes from a can.
Here is the link to the article on Dr. Mercola’s site. The compounds and minerals present in bones are anti-inflammatory. It’s important to eat foods with anti-inflammatory properties because so much of the Western Diet is made up of food that CAUSE continuous low-grade inflammation throughout our body. Over the years, this chronic low-grade inflammation leads to common diseases and afflictions that we suffer from today like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. One thing I didn’t know about bone broth that I learned Dr. Mercola’s article, is how beneficial bone broth is for your gut. Even more of a reason to get this superfood into your diet, since the health of your digestive system has a ripple effect through the rest of your body.
Bone broth is so easy to make, and if you make a lot of soup like I do, you’ll want to have plenty of it on hand. I started making my own for economic reasons. Ever had a chicken or turkey carcass leftover that you just threw out? That’s all you need to get started (well, and maybe some aromatics). Toss those leftover bones (you can do this with just about any kind of bones, beef, chicken, turkey, deer, even fish, but that’s a different post…) in the crockpot and add a splash of white wine (or red if you’re making beef broth). The acid in wine is necessary to extract some of those beneficial minerals out of the bones. If you don’t have wine, you can use a little cider vinegar. Add some aromatics like carrots, onions and celery. I keep a gallon ziplock bag in my freezer of vegetable scraps like carrot peelings, stems of kale, root ends of onions, etc. So I just toss in some of that. (when the gallon bag is full, I use that to make vegetable stock–another money saver). Add a little salt and pepper, or spices like thyme or rosemary. Fill the crockpot to just below the top with water and cook on high for at least 12 hours. I usually have to add some water. The longer you cook it, the more of the minerals that will break down in the broth. I’ve cooked it on low in my crockpot for over 2 days before! I usually break a turkey carcass in half and cook each half separately since my crockpot isn’t that big. This will yield about 4-5 quarts of stock. It freezes beautifully, and you’re always ready to make your next batch of soup!