Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beef & Navy Bean Soup

On occasion, we like to enjoy some comfort food around here.  Especially when the weather is wet, chilly, and tornadoes threaten the peace and serenity of our surroundings as they often do in March, April, & May.  I hear we're getting some bad weather soon, so make this ahead of time and cuddle up with your fave blanket!  This soup is high in protein and fiber, so you can feel good about it.
This is the kind of soup that warms you up on a windy day, but you take your time to make it, and enjoy...

A book I read recently mentioned different agents that tenderize meat:  tomatoes, wine, vinegar, and citrus.  In this recipe I used everything but the citrus, and the lower - priced stew meat turned out mouthwateringly tender.

To make this comforting soup you'll need:
  • 1 (16 oz.) package of dried navy beans
  • 1 1/2 lbs. stew meat cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (optional)
  • 2 yellow sweet onions, coursely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 c. beef stock
  • 2 cans undrained tomatoes
  • 1 bag of baby carrots
  • 1 lb. soup bones (optional)
Preparation:
  1. Prepare beans per package instructions to soak overnight, or use quick - soak method.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil in a heavy dutch oven.  When oil is rippling and hot, add the onions.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add stew meat and soup bones.  Brown each surface of the meat possible.  Add the garlic cloves by pressing with a garlic press, or mince ahead of time.
  4. Add all other ingredients except for carrots.  Bring to a boil until you get to a simmer, lower heat, and cover for 1 hour.  This is where the benefits of a heavy lid keep all the flavors in without any steam escaping. 
  5. Add carrots and cover another 45 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Sherry wine vinegar is optional, but adds tremendous flavor.
You will have plenty to share with neighbors, family, & friends.  Freeze leftovers for later!!

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