So we begin a fresh first week in January 2016 and it starts out for me with a tray full of leftover things one of which is the rest of the flank steak that we grilled last night and an easy recipe for a rather cold windy day, French vegetable soup and French dip sandwiches. To start I hauled out the zip back of vegetable scraps that I packaged and froze to make a winter’s day pot of soup on this our first cold day of the year. To about a gallon of water add all of the saved vegetables, onions, carrots, celery potatoes, or start with fresh. Season with salt, pepper, thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves, and fresh parsley. Simmer for a few hours and strain the broth when it cools. Use for anything that calls for vegetable broth.
Now for the soup, add 1 tablespoon EVOO and 1 tablespoon butter and sauté for several minutes, 1 diced onion, 2 leeks halved and sliced thin, 4 carrots, peeled and sliced, 1 fennel bulb trimmed and think sliced, 3 cloves of garlic, smashed, *optional chunks of potatoes, sprigs of parsley, 2 bay leaves, 3 sprigs of thyme, whole parsley sprigs, a sprinkling of herbs de Provence, and a few basil leaves. Deglaze the veggies with 1/2 cup white wine (Chenin blanc) and reduce for a few minutes. Pour in 6 cups of veggie stock or chicken stock (I used both) and simmer for about an hour or until the carrots and potatoes are soft. I skipped the potatoes because I wanted to use the last of the vermicelli, add the pasta for the recommended cooking time then serve piping hot with grated cheese and shredded basil.
Wrap leftover steak and freeze for about an hour or so, use a home slicer to thinly slice or use your sharpest knife and slice as thinly as you can, caramelize a large thinly slice onion and grate enough Gruyère cheese for as many sandwiches as you are making, brush sliced hoagie rolls with a little garlic butter/oil and lightly toast. Fills the rolls with meat, layer in the onions and cover with cheese. Finish under low broil until the cheese is melted.