With cold weather here, a pot of beef vegetable soup was on the menu.
To start I sautéed half a chopped onion, 3 stalks of chopped celery and and 3 peeled and diced carrots. To that I added 4 chopped mushrooms and 5 chopped cabbage leaves and gave the vegetables a sprinkle of salt . For soup I like the diced vegetables to be small enough so that each spoonful of soup will have more than one vegetable piece. I tend to reach for a bit of lard for sauteing when the flavor of my olive oil will be masked by the stronger flavors of the soup. Unlike other fats or oils, this lard is from a nearby farm, a valuable byproduct of the effort of that farmer and rendered at the local butcher shop.
Once the onion was soft I added three handfuls of diced chuck roast. I trimmed the roast of fat, saving the bigger pieces of fat for when I grind some lean top round for burgers. This chuck roast, from a grass-raised, grass-finished beef is beautifully marbled and is very tender when simmered or slow cooked.
I stirred the beef around, making sure the pieces were separated then added enough water to cover the vegetable beef saute and scraped up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Then I poured in the juices from a quart of tomatoes. (I find that the liquid in my home canned tomatoes is thinner than store bought so adjust with water when necessary.) I usually just squeeze the tomatoes to break them up rather than chopping the juicy tomatoes on the cutting board. I simmered the soup for 20 minutes . About twenty minutes before I served the soup I added some diced potatoes and cupcake pack of corn.
In the summer I always cook a couple more ears of corn than we will eat. Once it is cool, usually the next morning if I have not used it for fritters or eaten cold for breakfast, I cut it off the cob and wrap it up in little packages that fit in my cupcake pan and pop it in the freezer. Once frozen, those wrapped corn cupcakes go into a gallon sized zip bag, making room for the next leftover corn.
I thinned the mixture with some water since I wanted a soup and not a stew and served. This is not fancy fare, even though I added a handful of chopped parsley at the end, just a basic soup. It is the kind of soup that my mother made to warm to feed six squirmy children. Like many soups, it will probably taste even better tomorrow.