Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fit For A King Vegetable Soup

Recipe by Alice Wootton
Husband-Tested in Alice's Kitchen

We had just returned from our vacation and in the short time we were gone, the hot, humid summer weather had been replaced by cool, crisp fall days.  We had to replenish our food supply and so, I went to Lost River Market & Deli and purchased lots of soup ingredients.  Then I called my mother to ask her for the recipe for vegetable soup.  Instead, she just gave me a long list of vegetables and told me to use a chuck roast.  I spent a pleasant, chilly morning making this soup using Mother's list as a guide.  Now, Daddy never like mushrooms and so Mother never used them.  We love mushrooms, so I used a few dry porcini mushrooms and some fresh cremini mushrooms.  She told me that if I had okra, to be sure to put that in.  I didn't have okra, but if I did, I would certainly include them because they really enhance the soup.  She also suggested peas, but I used some zucchini instead.  As with most soups, this soup will taste best after a day or so.  This recipe makes a huge pot of soup that should feed a small crowd. You can also freeze this soup for a winter day. 

1 small chuck roast
Kosher salt 
Freshly ground pepper
2 Tablespoon olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth or water
4 cups water (Add more water later depending on how "soupy" you want your soup to be.)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled or scrubbed and sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (15 oz.) can chopped tomatoes
1 large pinch of dried porcini mushrooms (Soak in 1 cup hot water for a few minutes.)
3 cups or so of shredded/sliced cabbage (I used 1/2 a small head.)
10 or so cremini mushrooms, quartered
8 to 10 small red potatoes, quartered (peeled or unpeeled)
1 zucchini, chopped or sliced into bite-sized pieces (frozen peas could be substituted)
1 (1 lb.) package of frozen sweet corn
1 (10 oz.) package of frozen lima beans
1 (10 oz.) package of frozen okra (optional)

Sprinkle the roast with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Heat the olive oil in a very large soup pot.  Add the chuck roast.  (You should hear it sizzle.)  Brown the roast on both sides.  
Add the broth and water.  Then add the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, tomatoes, and porcini mushrooms (with the soaking liquid.)  Bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to a simmer.  Let simmer for an hour or two until the meat is tender. 
Add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer until the vegetables are tender.
Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. 

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