Hearty Beef Soup
“Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.”
by Louis P. De Gouy
Is it fall where you are? If so, this Hearty Beef Soup needs to be on your menu and in your tummy! I have a hard time making and serving soups when it’s 95° and 95% humidity outside, but as soon as the cool and crisp weather of fall arrives, you can find soup on our table at least once a week.
With our daughter a quick 2.5 hours away in college, we have made several up and backs this fall to celebrate her birthday and to bring her to or from school for break. These quick trips usually have us arriving back home mid to late afternoon, so I’ve put my slow cooker to good use so that dinner is ready when we return home. Here in southeastern North Carolina it seems like fall really arrived this past weekend, so I was hankering for a good soup for our Sunday dinner. This nourishing hearty beef soup is full of the rich flavor that is often lacking when just using beef broth. Searing the stew meat as well as some beef shanks, really ups the flavor and heartiness of this outstanding and nourishing soup. Adding dried porcini mushrooms gives it the earthiness that I look for in a beef soup.
I cut the stew meat into small, half-inch to one-inch pieces for two reasons: more surface area to sear thereby adding extra flavor and the smaller pieces ensures that they’ll cook enough to be tender.
- 2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces
- 2-3 pounds beef shanks, excess fat cut off
- 8 cups beef broth or water or a combination
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, chopped by hand or in food processor
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1 cup kidney beans that have been soaked overnight.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil to brown meat
- Cooked barley (optional)
- Heat oil in heavy pan, I used my large cast iron skillet.
- With heat at medium high to high, working in batches sear your cubes of stew meat until browned on all sides, adding oil as necessary.
- Put stew meat in your slowcooker or in a heavy pot if you are using your stove top.
- Adding oil if necessary, brown your shanks on all sides.
- Place shanks in slowcooker or pot
- Add remaining ingredients and cook in slowcooker on LOW for 9-10 hours or on the stovetop on simmer for 2-3 hours.
- If cooking on stovetop, you may need to add some additional liquid if it evaporates.
- If gluten is not an issue, add some to your soup as desired. I try to avoid unnecesarry gluten and it is plenty hearty without the barley.
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