Friday, April 3, 2009

The calendar might say that it's spring..

It still feels like winter in most of Canada. R and I have both been sick with something lately, so I whipped up a batch of my favourite soup. It has two advantages: It freezes will so it can be made in big batches, and you can add just about any vegetable that you have hanging around in your fridge. So if you have some sad looking produce in your crisper, this recipe will give it a good home.

It has morphed beyond all recognition from its original form and now I just toss everything I can find into the pot. I started out using a recipe by Pam Reiss, whose book Soup - A Kosher Collection has a funny personal story behind it. I bought the book one day on a whim because I loved the photos and I was just beginning my love affair with Jewish and kosher food. I brought it home and browsed through it, then left it on the dining room table. R came home and looked at it and said, "Where did you get this!?" I thought that he was just shocked that I was investigating kosher cooking, but it turns out that he knows Pam, the author! They went to school together in Winnipeg where she nows runs a kosher grocery store called Desserts Plus. I got to meet her at a wedding last October and she was incredibly nice. If you're looking for a good soup book I would recommend that you go out and get this book! What I love about it is that it's divided into Dairy, Parve and Meat recipes, and on each page it tells you whether or not the recipe freezes well. It's very helpful.

Anyway. You just want to know how to make this soup, don't you?

Beef Barley Veggie Soup
adapted from Soup - A Kosher Collection

2 soup bones (if you can't find kosher soup bones you can leave this out)
1 lb stewing beef
8-10 cups of water
1 can whole plum tomatoes
1 onion, peeled and diced
2 carrots, washed and diced
2 parsnips, washed and diced
2 potatoes, washed and diced
1 can of red kidney beans
3/4 cup barley
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried thyme
2 tbsp soy sauce

1. Cut the stewing beef into 2 inch cubes (or something close to that) and place them in the pot of water. Bring the water to a boil.

2. When it begins to boil you'll notice some icky brown foam rising to the top. Strain it off. You'll have to continue to do this for about 10 minutes. When most of the foam is gone and no more is rising to the top, you can add the rest of your ingredients.

3. Simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, longer if desired.

Note: Remember that you can add just about anything to this recipe! I've added yams, corn, chick peas, garlic, celery, pasta... And don't forget to freeze half of it. It tastes just as good reheated!

1 comment:

Cheesepluseverything said...

The soup looks great!

My grandmother gave me one of those Campbell's soup bowls when I was 6. I can't eat chicken noodle soup without it (even though I'm almost 22 now)