Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Baby It's Cold Outside Iowa Steak Soup

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This soup is rich and satisfying. 

When I declare it cold in the South, believe me.  The high today is barely 30, and the sky is as clear and blue as a July day.  That of course means no snow, and a freezing cold night on tap! So I knew soup was on the menu today, and I came across an old recipe from Midwest Living when I was purging my recipe file.  I remember quite clearly when I made it, a cold snowy day in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The recipe is dated February 1988, so obviously it needs a little updating.

First of all it tells you to bring your carrot, onion and celery AND 1 cup of water to a boil.  We all know that flavor is much better when veggies are sauteed and get a little color.  It also calls for beef granules, and I have never really been a fan of bouillon cubes, broth granules etc.  There are some great stocks and broths on the market, so I am going that route and doctoring it up a tad.

I love these purple carrots!  Such vibrant color!

Parsley Root, it is delicious browned with the onions and carrots!

The thickening agent in the original soup is 12 T of butter and a cup of flour made into a roux.  Yikes.  I am a big fan of butter, and not afraid of flour, but that is a lot of both! For soup! And lastly, it calls for frozen vegetables.  I have no issue with this.  I love a bag of mixed veg dumped into any soup, so that stays.  It also calls for Kitchen Bouquet.  Which has been around since 1873, and is made by the Clorox Company.  So although its longevity is impressive, I don't associate the parent company with good food, although their bleach is great.  I opted for some beef demi glace.  Richness without funky aftertaste. Although I am going up the ante on the few fresh items, and toss in an extra as well, here is my Iowa Soup that bears little to zero resemblance to its second cousin twice removed!  I also like it with pumpernickel croutons.  Basically, grill some buttered pumpernickel and enjoy!

Iowa Winter Beef and Vegetable Soup

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Yellow onion, diced
6 medium carrots, diced
6 stalks celery, diced
1 bunch parsley root, diced
1 1/2 pounds beef (stew meat basically)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon flour
salt and pepper
32 ounces beef broth
1 12 ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 can diced, roasted tomatoes
2 Tablespoons demi glace
1/3 cup flour
6 T butter
2 cups broth (I only had chicken at this point)
Pumpernickel Croutons

This is a great tool, makes chopping a breeze, and it's all uniform!
In a large dutch oven, saute the onion, celery, carrot and parsley root in olive oil until soft.  Remove from pan and add the other 2 Tablespoons olive oil and cook the beef with salt and pepper and garlic.  When the meat is browned, I shook about 1 T flour over the meat and stirred, thickening the oil and fond on the bottom.  Remove the meat, and in the hot pan, deglaze with the beef broth scraping up the bits that cooked to the bottom and add everything back in, as well as the tomatoes and the frozen vegetables and demi glace. At this point, it's a nice soup.

I reduced mine since it simmered all was lunch and dinner!

But I had to admit.  I missed that creamy texture from the roux.  So I made a roux using half the amounts in the original recipe. In a small saucepan melt the butter and whisk in the flour.  Slowly add 2 cups broth and whisk until smooth.  Add to the soup, and voila.  Richness and a little better mouth feel.  I like the croutons alongside, crumble them in, whatever you like.  But that dark bread matches perfectly!  So, what are you waiting for?  Spring won't get here until, next week!  Get in there and cook!

Don't forget the pumpernickel bread!

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