Monday, January 4, 2010

The Warmth Maker

I don't know what is wrong with this weather. I went to take out the trash and felt like my teeth would freeze and fall out. So I zipped back inside and made this to banish the cold: beef vegetable soup.

1 lb beef stew or beef chop suey
2 oz smoked bacon or slanina
2 potatoes
1 onion
3 carrots
2 celery stalks
1/4 cabbage
3/4 cup soybeans
1 parsley root
4 oz tomato sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped dill.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil and add the cubed bacon. After a minute add the meat, stir to combine and let fry until there's no visible pink. Add the onions, stir and continue cooking until all beef juices are evaporated. Add water to fill the pot. My mother taught me the water needs to be hot or else the meat would harden. Only use tap hot water if you're positive it's not stale from sitting in the heater. Let boil covered, over medium low heat for 1 hour or until tender. Meanwhile chop the veggies. Give the potatoes and parsley root a head start, about 10 minutes, then add the carrots, and after 5 minutes the celery, cabbage and soybeans. The smaller you chop, the faster they cook. Add tomato sauce and paste, the vinegar and boil 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the dill and kill the heat. Let rest covered for 15 minutes. Serve steaming with sour cream and crusty bread.

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