Friday, July 16, 2010

Vegetable Beef Soup

A four pound brisket can be a true gift, the leftovers of which yielding soft tacos with guacamole and tomatoes or oven baked empanadas with spicy sour cream, paninis with caramelized onions or creamy beef casserole with green beans. Or it can turn into the never ending meal. By the fourth reincarnation I am generally happy to see it all go. I have learned that a four pound brisket is a little too big for our family. But I buy most of our meat directly from the farm it is raised on through my CSA, so I can't exactly choose the brisket I want. I tell them I want one, I can request a small one, but that might mean I only get a 2 pounder. I usually just let them choose one for me. Consequently a lot of times I save them for company. There are usually leftovers but not so many that it puts our food life on hold for a week.

This week when our family came over we were 5 adults and 2 kids that eat table foods and we still had about 3/4 of a pound of brisket leftover, and that was after cooking and trimming. I decided to make vegetable beef soup, a simple dish, but I have decided that there is an art to it. I also was desperate to get rid of the back log of veggies that I had built up in the house, not to mention the pile of amazing green beans and the zucchini as big as Thing 2's leg that my sister in law brought over from her organic garden.

In a big pot I boiled carrots, corn, green beans, celery, half that ridiculous zucchini, a leek, an onion, green beans, broccoli and a garlic scape in a rich beef broth. I added barley at the very beginning and the leftover chopped brisket. Then I just let it cook for about 2 hours. Aaaaahhhh, the walkaway. I do so love it. Strangely enough the kids ate it for the babysitter, but not me. Oh well, at least they ate it. I do have a little soup secret that my mother in law taught me. My MIL makes great soups (among other things). I use bouillon to make the broth, and I just slip in a little extra to give the broth a great meaty taste. For the last couple years I have been buying the Better Than Bouillon products because, well, they are better than bouillon. It is more like a demi glace paste and the flavor is really meaty rather than just salty. This soup freezes really well too. And since it made a gallon and a half I am glad of that!!

No comments:

Post a Comment