23 November 2009

Hill Country Vegetable Soup

Note: I like a lot of vegetables and a colorful soup. Don't fret about using everything on the list.

1              teaspoon olive or toasted sesame oil
1/2          pound beef or buffalo stew meat, cubed 3/4"
1/2          cup onions, diced
1/4          cup celery, sliced on the diagonal
1/2          cup carrots, jewel cut* or sliced in rounds
1              cup vegetable or beef stock
4              cups spring water
1/4          cup barley, rinsed
2              cloves garlic, minced
1              tablespoon dried roasted garlic slices (or 1/2 teaspoon roasted garlic powder)
1 1/2       cups canned diced tomatoes
3/4          cup yukon gold potato, diced, or 3/4 cup of wheel-shaped pasta in keeping with theme
1              cup cooked white beans
1/2          cup yellow squash, 1/2-inch half moons
1/4          cup corn kernels
1/2          cup green beans, sliced 1"
1/2          cup shredded green cabbage
3              tablespoons mushrooms, sliced
                salt and pepper to taste
1/2          teaspoon herbes de provence
1/2          teaspoon marjoram
1/2          teaspoon smoked paprika

Heat oil and saute stew meat until it quits bleeding. Add onions, celery, carrots and pinch of salt, and stir until bright, adding stock if needed. Add rest of stock and water. Bring to boil. Skim meat foam if it appears.

Add barley, garlic, tomatoes, potato or pasta, beans, squash, corn, green beans, cabbage and mushrooms. Bring to simmer.

Add salt and pepper and simmer until barley is cooked, adding remaining seasonings partway through.

Makes 4 servings, more or less.

* Jewel cut: Slice carrot on the diagonal 1/2 inch from small end. Rotate 1/4 turn toward you and slice at the same angle. Keep rotating and slicing all the way down the carrot, making multi-faceted pieces that look like cut jewels.