Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Hearty winter soup

~ by Kerry

My mother-in-law makes the most wonderful, thick and hearty soup - perfect for the cold winter weather that we've been having over the past week. I have asked her for the recipe a number of times in the past, but true to her years of experience, she says that she puts in a "little bit of this and a little bit of that" - which doesn't really help me (I'm a measurements kind of gal).

But I was inspired last week at a photoshoot that I attended, where Sasha cooked up some amazing dishes for our upcoming issue - including a thick and steamy soup. I decided to try my own version of "Mom-in-law's famous winter soup" over the weekend - which, if I do say so myself, turned out quite nicely! It's basically a whole meal in a bowl, with all the goodness to keep the flu away and keep the tummy full. Hope that you enjoy it as much as my family did!

Mom-in-law's Famous Winter Soup
Kerry's version with lots of cheats (because I was pressed for time)

We finished the soup before I thought
of taking a photo, so I borrowed
one from cookuk.co.uk
1 onion, finely sliced
1 bag small prepared carrots
2 sticks celery, cut into discs
Half a bag of green beans, ends removed, cut in half
500g stewing beef
4 big marrow bones
1 packet Hearty Beef Soup
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
Boiling water

1. In a big pot, fry the onions in a little olive oil until they start to brown. Add the carrots and fry for about 3 minutes, then add the celery and beans. Fry the mixture for about 5 to 8 minutes until the veggies start to soften, stirring frequently.
2. Remove the veggies from the pot, then add the meat. Brown the meat for about 2 minutes, then add the marrow bones and brown for a further 3 minutes. Turn the stove setting down to simmer.
3. Add the veggies to the meat, and sprinkle over the Hearty Beef Soup. Stir well. Add enough boiling water to reach three quarters of the way up the meat and veggie mix.
4. Simmer for about half an hour, then add the canned tomatoes. Simmer for a further hour (or until the veggies are cooked and the meat is soft), stirring now and again. Add more water if it starts to get too thick.
5. Remove the marrow bones from the soup (if any marrow is still in the bones, gently push it out into the soup).
6. For a chunky soup (as I like it), put three-quarters of the soup into a blender and blend for about a minute. Remove half of the blended mixture, then blend the remaining half with a bit of water (if the soup needs to be thinned) for another minute.
7. Mix the "layers" together, and enjoy just as it is, or with some hot buttered toast.

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