Hearty Beef and Mushroom Soup for Joyce…

Beef and Mushroom Soup for Joycie

“Falling in love is like eating mushrooms, you never know if it’s the real thing until it’s too late” …Bill Balance

Y’all know I have a quote to begin with/food for thought and this time, laughingly I add the quote above, Joyce introduced me to my husband 30 something years ago…

So my good friend Joyce came for a visit after many years and as things go we caught up and talked of many things, but often and specifically of her onset of a sugar allergy, new to me, she certainly has her limits and has to read her way through a grocery store an education as we all know, as for me it was a bit of a challenge.

As she says, she eats plain and simple and I discovered how to make a few changes to accommodate her diet, I don’t use a lot of prepackaged ingredients, but we all know how sugar and salt can be hidden in what we use on a daily basis…she found a few new things to add to her diet.  So Joycie as you headed down the highway, I headed back to the kitchen to finish the soup and it is simmering away, at first taste very good and should even be better tomorrow, now where did our soup girl and weather go?

Today I concocted a hearty beef and mushroom soup that I will dedicate to her and the only thing that she has to omit is the wine that I used to deglaze the sauté pan with.  The broth is rich with mushroom flavor, with 1-1/2-2 ounces of dried, rehydrated mushrooms, the broth from mushrooms, and a few fresh baby bellas, a very earthy flavor emerges only toned down by adding beef stock. My homemade stock is probably richer than most, so an addition of beef broth or even some chicken stock will certainly mellow it out a bit  In the end a combination of stock and light broth will bring the soup to the taste that you prefer.  As for me, at the moment I’m happy with the taste and wonderful aroma, thinking that a little barley will make a filling bowl of soup for a chilly day.   I don’t see why you can’t finish the soup in a slow cooker after browning the meat and vegetables, but I got started too late to even consider that option.

Joyce’s Hearty Beef and Mushroom Soup…So where’d she go, soups ready!

Serves 4
1-1/2 pounds beef cubes, seasoned and browned

Ingredients, small dice all vegetables, set aside:

3 carrots, two diced, save one to grate over soup when finished
2 celery ribs, diced
1 shallot, diced
2 leeks, cleaned, white parts only, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced

Mushrooms, fresh and dried:

1-1/2-2 ounces dried assorted mushrooms rehydrated in about 2 cups boiling water and allow to sit for 40-60 minutes, strain, chop mushrooms reserving the mushroom liquid
6-8 baby bella mushrooms, chopped

Herbs and seasonings:
2 sprigs thyme leaves removed
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste

1-3/4 cup mushroom broth or whatever amount you have left from rehydrating the mushrooms, whatever if more use it, don’t waste it
48 ounces beef stock or a combination of stock and broth
½ cup red wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Olive oil to brown beef and vegetables…3-4 Tablespoons

*Optional barley cooked separately in additional broth

Directions:

Brown the beef in olive oil remove with slotted spoon and add to a soup pot, sauté the vegetables for about 4 minutes, add tomato paste, stir into vegetables.  Toss in wine or a little broth to deglaze pan, scraping up brown bits and add it all to beef in the soup pot.  Season with herbs, add stock/broth, minced rehydrated mushrooms, fresh chopped mushrooms and strained mushroom broth.  Bring to a low boil on medium high heat, lower to simmer for 2-3 hours or until beef is tender.  Remove bay leaves.  Serve with tender barley, garnish with chopped Italian parsley, grated carrots, and a touch of grated horseradish.

Prettier bowl of soup tomorrow, safe travels my dear friend.