Hearty beef and vegetable soup
So it is still pretty cold here in the Adelaide Hills and my life has been absolutely mad for the last couple of weeks, and about to get madder for the next four, so I thought, when I set off to do my shopping, that this weekend I am going to do things a little differently, I am going to make two very large dinners that will feed Mr T and myself plus any tadpoles in the house, and leave enough to supply the pair of us with lunch for the whole week. The catch, must be easy, must be affordable, must be nutritious. Well, this is the first and I nailed all three.
This was just a glorious soup and made enough to serve 10.
2 osso bucco (beef shin) (so about 400g)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
3 carrot, quartered and sliced
3 sticks celery, sliced
1 large green capsicum, diced (I also added 1/4 of a red capsicum as I had it in the fridge)
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 litres water or beef stock or water with a stock cube in it
3/4 cup brown lentils
2 tsp dried ground turmeric
3/4 tsp dried ground ginger (yes, I know, but it is a very warming spice and you will not know it is there, but you will feel something is missing if you don't add it)
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 swede, peeled and diced
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
400g tin four bean mix, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup of buckwheat OR pearl barley
200g sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen baby peas
fresh parsley and chives
salt and black pepper
Okay, yes, that is a lot of ingredients for a soup, but look at how nutritious they are, yes, it has ginger in it, trust me, you will not taste it, but you will miss it if you don't put it in, yes, you can use regular paprika, but that doesn't really taste like much, smoked is much nicer, yes, people who don't like smoked things often like this spice.
Right, in a large pot (at least four litres), pop your olive oil, put it on the heat, now brown the meat on both sides, take that out, set it aside. Tumble in your onion, capsicum, carrot and celery, give that a few minutes to soften and colour, no burning though! Now add your garlic and your spices, cook one more minute, now put the beef shin back in, add the brown lentils, cover the whole lot with water or stock if you are using, bring to a simmer and simmer for about three hours or until the beef is very tender, topping up the water when necessary, and this will be necessary as the lentils swell. Pop in your swede, potatoes, four bean mix, mushrooms and buckwheat OR barley, simmer until tender, about 40 more minutes.
Fish out the meat, remove any fat or yukky bits and the bones, chop the meat roughly, return to the pot. Stir in frozen baby peas, you can use grown up ones if you like, I prefer baby peas for sweetness, simmer one more minute, turn off the heat.
Chop a good amount of fresh chives and parsley per person, I allowed a heaped teaspoon full of combined p&c per serve, and add to the bowl you will serve in, ladle the soup in on top of the herbs, give it a good stir, season to taste, top with black pepper, serve. MMMMM! Delicious!
A little side note about a couple of these last additions, we add the salt at the end as it is easy to over-salt a dish like this and hard to de-salt it, plus people's liking for salt is very variable. The black pepper makes the turmeric more bioavailable to the body, this means that the pepper helps the body absorb the turmeric, which is full of good compounds for our body. The chives and parsley are brim full of antioxidants, flavonoids and phenols, all proven to be of therapeutic benefit to our body, but adding them last like this we not only preserve colour and flavour but we make the most of these beneficial compounds, many of which are sensitive to heat and cooking.
Okay, so since this will make a good meal for reprogram, especially if eaten with a slice of crusty wholemeal bread for those of us who can eat it, let's put it through a nutrition profile.
So, one serve of this soup yields
16% fat (4% saturated plus trans, so we are well within our guidelines here)
So this is all falling very nicely into our guidelines, let's have a look at the iron, 4mg per serve, that is half an adult man's RDI and about 20% of a womans.
Yes, I am very pleased with this one.