Autumn Soup – a Very Reliable Form of Soup

My mom, Marilyn Hunter used to make Autumn Soup from the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook and we loved it.  It was a pretty simple soup – but filling and delish.  I was pleased years later when I came across a reference to this soup while reading “A Girl Named Zippy” which is a wonderful autobiography by Haven Kimmel.

Haven grew up in Mooreland, Indiana and approached life with an irrepressible spirit.  She mentions that her friend’s mother made Autumn Soup, which she called “a very reliable form of soup.”  So if you get a chance, order the book, read it and make Autumn Soup to celebrate Marilyn, Haven Kimmel and reliable food!

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups water
1 cup each chopped carrots and celery
1 cup diced potatoes (peel first if needed)
2 tsp salt
1 beef bouillon cube
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried basil
2 fresh tomatoes, diced

Heal oil in a dutch oven. Add ground beef and brown. Add onions and cook stirring frequently for several minutes. Add all other ingredients and let simmer for 30 minutes. Check seasoning and serve.

Note: The original recipe called for six fresh tomatoes completely intact added to the pot. Each bowl would get a giant tomato smack in the middle of the bowl, but my Mom never made it like that, and six diced tomatoes would just be too much.

 

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Po’ Boys for a Crowd

how-to-make-a-po-boyThere was Moon over Bourbon Street at our house recently, and we served Po’ Boys for a crowd.

Making Po’ Boys is quite easy, and they are so tasty! We offered a choice of beef brisket or Cajun Roasted Cauliflower for fillings, along with fresh, sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, Remoulade Sauce or Mayo and hot sauce on a split french roll.

We served the Beef Brisket in one 1/2 catering tray, and the roasted Cauliflower in another 1/2 catering tray. Both trays fit in one large tray, with 1/2″ of water in the bottom to keep them warm, with two tins of chafing dish fuel.

Each Beef Brisket 1/2 catering tray makes 16 – 24 sandwiches, depending on how much brisket people use. The Cauliflower is probably the same.

For each half tray, you’ll need

5 lbs. of sliced beef brisket (We used 2 packages of beef brisket from Costco.)
10 cups cauliflower florets, seasoned and roasted
3-4 sliced tomatoes
3-4 cups shredded tomatoes
Remoulade Sauce or Mayonnaise
Hot Sauce
18 French Rolls (Again, we used the french rolls from Costco.)

To heat the brisket, just add two packages (5 lbs.) of brisket to a 1/2 catering tray and add 1/2 cup water. Seal tightly with aluminum foil and bake at least 30 minutes. We warmed out trays up ahead of time and kept them in a warming oven.

For a vegan version, make only the Cajun Roasted Cauliflower, and serve with Remoulade Sauce or vegan mayo.

To serve, we kept a little sign by all the Po’ Boy fixings and let our guests assemble them. People loved them!

Ina Garten’s Beef Bourguignon

This is a somewhat time-consuming dish, since it has to cook on the stove and in the oven, but well worth it on a cool, Fall evening. I’ve actually made this amazing dish twice in the last month! You may want to make it the night before since it takes a while to cook, but it is definitely worth the effort.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ lb bacon or turkey bacon, cut into ½” slices
2½ lbs chuck beef cut into 1″ cubes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb carrots, scrubbed and sliced diagonally into 1″ chunks
2 yellow onions, cut into good sized chunks
2 tsp chopped fresh garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
½ cup dry brandy (Ina calls for Cognac, but I didn’t have any.)
1 bottle dry red wine (Three buck Chuck worked fine.)
2 cups of beef broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1½ tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried  (I used several stems of Thyme and fished out the stems later.)
6 Tbsp butter at room temperature
3 Tbsp flour
2 more yellow onions cut into quarters (Ina uses frozen pearl onions)
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced. (I used two containers, pre-sliced.)
A nice rustic bread, thickly sliced (I used an Herbes de Provence loaf.)
garlic cloves

Directions

In a big dutch oven, heat oil and saute bacon until lightly browned. Remove from pot. Dry beef cubes with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add beef to bacon drippings. If you’ve used turkey bacon, you’ll want to add a little more oil at this point.

Cook meat in batches, browning on all sides. (Actually, I did dump it all in and just stirred it occasionally, until the water had reduced and the meat was all nicely browned. I suppose a proper cook would be more patient. Alas…)

Remove the beef to the plate with the bacon. Add the carrots and the two onions cut into chunks to the pot. Add 1 Tbsp salt and 2 tsp pepper and cook 10-15 minutes until onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook one more minute. Add the Sherry (or Cognac) and be ready with a lighter. Hold the flame just above the mixture and watch the blue flame burn away the alcohol. It’s pretty cool. Just be careful to have the pot away from anything flammable!

Add the bacon and beef back in along with any juices from the plate. Add the bottle of wine, and the beef broth. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then cover and place it in a 250 degree oven for about 1½ to 2 hours until the meat and veggies are nice and tender. Remove pot to stove.

Mash together 2 Tbsp of butter and flour until you have a smooth paste and stir into the stew gently. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, in a separate frying pan, heat 2 Tbsp butter and saute the second batch of onions for several minutes until they turn translucent. (Normally you would just add frozen pearl onions at this point, but I don’t really like them and my family is pretty picky about onions, so sauteeing them helps cut the oniony bite. Add the onions to the pot.

Wipe out the pan, and add 2 more Tbsp of butter. Saute the mushrooms for 10 minutes or so, until they are starting to brown and the water they have released is mostly dried up. Add to the stew pot.

Finally, give everything a nice stir, and check seasonings.

Toast the bread under the broiler until nicely toasted, then rub a raw clove of garlic on the toast. Place it in a flat bowl, ladle the stew over and serve. (Ina adds fresh parsley as a garnish, but I forgot and it was still pretty delicious.)

Zuppa Italiano with Sausage, Potato & Kale

4 slices, turkey bacon or real bacon, chopped
1 lb. hot Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
6 cups of chicken broth
2 big potatoes, cut into thin, bite-sized pieces
1 tsp salt
1 cup half n half
2 cups kale, chopped

Saute turkey bacon in a little olive oil. (Real bacon won’t need oil.)

Add sausage, garlic and red pepper. Brown well. Remove sausage from pan, and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Add back to pan, and add broth potatoes and salt. Cook 20 minutes. Add Kale and cook 2 more minutes. Add half & half and check seasoning.

Corned Beef Hash

April, 2009

1 large, corned beef brisket, thoroughly cooked and cut into bite size pieces
1 bag frozen hashed brown potatoes (or real potatoes – see note below.)
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
generous splash or Worcestershire sauce
1 squirt of yellow mustard (maybe 1/2 – 1 tsp?)
3 Tbsp olive oil

Saute onions, pepper and garlic in a little oil, until onions are soft and translucent. Heat olive oil in your largest frying pan. Add veggies and everything else to a large bowl and blend gently.

Scoop the mix into the hot oil in the frying pan. Gently even out the potatoes with a spoon. (You may not be able to get everything in – so if you have to – just do a second batch.)

Let hash cook five minutes without stirring. Then turn and saute another five minutes. If in doubt – cook longer. I just turn it in sections, so don’t worry if it starts to break apart.

Give a final sprinkle of salt and pepper and serve. Yum.

If you want to use real potatoes, you can. Just use 4-5 yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2″ thick slices, and boiled in salted water until they are almost all the way cooked through. Drain them well, dice them up and add them to the mix.