It’s 9 a.m. and 1 degree F in Kansas City right now. If you’re the Pollyanna type, you’ll don your happy-face mittens and wait until this afternoon when the temperature climbs all the way up to 12 degrees. And you’ll smile and say, “It’s sunny even!”
But if you’re of my dour inclination, you’ll frown, burrow under a comforter and search for soup recipes. I found this one on food52.com yesterday, the morning after a 10-inch snowfall, and immediately slipped and slid my way to the supermarket for the ingredients. It’s a traditional beef and vegetable soup with a bourguignon twist of adding red wine.
Things are looking up.
I used Rachael Ray’s Beef Stock-in-a-Box because Cooks Illustrated, which does extensive taste tests on food products, gave it their highest recommendation. They say it’s the only brand that achieves a truly beefy flavor without the addition of a slew of processed additives.
I’ve been on a kale binge lately (we Weight Watchers know how to have fun) but I used the Swiss Chard called for in the recipe and I wasn’t disappointed. You can opt for kale or spinach if you’re unfamiliar with chard, but I suggest using it. Chard cooks quickly and is tender and milder tasting than kale, reason enough to give it a try.
OK, so Pollyanna I’m not, but this delicious, wholesome soup did perk up my curmudgeonly self at dinnertime last night. There’s enough left over for dinner tonight, but I’ll probably have to add more red wine, just to enliven the flavor, mind you.
And then I’ll wish that me and the poodles were here with this little guy:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. beef chuck, cut into 1-in. chunks
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red wine
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 quart beef broth
1 1/2 lb. red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1-in. chunks
1 28-oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, with juice
3 cups Swiss Chard, chopped
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Tabasco Sauce, for serving
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Dry beef chunks with paper towels. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven and brown beef on all sides. Remove to a plate and season with salt.
Add carrots, celery and onions to pot and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté one minute more. Add red wine and simmer until it is reduced a bit, about one minute. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes and their juice and beef broth.
Return beef to pot and add potatoes, thyme and bay leaves. Stir, bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Add the chopped chard and continue to simmer another 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and Tabasco sauce.
WW PP per serving: 8