Have I mentioned how much I love soup? It’s hearty, healthy, and easy to make. I love soup because even if you screw up the recipe, it’s probably still recoverable. So, for all of you “non-cooks” out there, soup might just be your niche.
Unfortunately, Las Vegas has this tendency to get HOT AS HELL during the summer, making soup sound about as good as watching your team lose the Super Bowl (oh wait, that happened-waaaaaaaaahh). Anyway, before Vegas temperatures reach anti-soup levels, I thought I’d share this tasty gem I cooked up the other night.
Like I said before, soup recipes are what you make of them. Feel free to deter from what spices I used to mix and match to your specific taste buds. This is only a starting point. If you want to make this a vegan meal, substitute the beef broth for vegetable broth and skip the beef. Unless you add a shit load of cream, this is still going to be fabulously good for you, no matter how you mix up the recipe. Don’t add cream. Seriously. That would be gross.
Nutritionals: Gluten Free, Dairy Free
What you Need:
1.5 lbs of stew steak
16 oz beef broth
8-10 medium tomatoes
2 cups sliced potatoes
2 cups diced carrots
1.5 cups sliced celery
3-4 bay leaves
Crushed red pepper
What you need to do:
1. Brown meat in a skillet in a tablespoon or so of oil. I used avocado oil, but olive oil would work just as well. Once the meat is browned slightly, pour in enough beef broth to almost cover the beef bits, add your bay leaves, and season the meat with a little of each spice. So, I know “a little of each spice” is about the worst recipe description on the planet. I apologize. When I cook, I rarely measure just how much of any spice I’m throwing in my meal. For this, I just threw a few dashes of everything I could find that smelled like the flavor I was looking for (which I listed above). My advice is to be ginger with the cumin. It’s a fantastic spice, but can overwhelm the dish quickly. Add the other spices, then add the cumin. You’ll smell it right away, and by tasting the broth, you should be able to decide if you want more or not. Once you feel satisfied with the smell of your meat and broth, cover the pan and let it simmer for about 30 mins or so. Check it frequently.
2. While you are waiting for your meat to soak in all of that spiced yummy goodness, chop up your veggies. I used purple potatoes because that’s what I had at the time. Next time, I would probably use red potatoes. The purple were pretty, but after they cooked for a while, they took on a more sad, pale purple color that wasn’t entirely appetizing to look at. Tasty, yes, visually pleasing? Debatable.
3. Add a touch of avocado oil to your pot and throw in your onions. Let those puppies simmer for about 10 mins, and add your tomatoes and about a cup of beef broth. You want your tomatoes to simmer long enough that they lose their shape and form in to more of a tomatoey liquid. Let those all simmer for about 15 mins and add the rest of your veggies. Let those simmer for about 30 mins, or until the potatoes can be pierced with a fork. Then, cruise back to your beef pot, take out the bay leaves, and add your beef (with broth) to your veggies. Let all that simmer for as long as you like. I let it sit there on low for about 45 mins. The longer it simmers, the better the flavor of the soup. As it sits there, season the soup as you feel fit. I usually spend the entire simmer time adding a little of this spice, and a little of that spice, covering, tasting, repeat. Eventually you’ll get the flavor you are looking for. Everyone’s taste buds are different. Some people like their soup a little saltier, some a little more savory. Personally, I like adding a little extra red pepper for a spicy kick. Once you feel like you’ve gotten the flavor you like, serve up your soup and enjoy!