Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beefy Bello Soup in Bread Bowls


We had a wonderfully comforting soup tonight - it actually tasted a lot like a Sunday roast beef, but in soup form. I made homemade bread bowls (soooooo easy) and it was fantastic.

Beefy Bello Soup

Ingredients:
2 lbs beef stew meat
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C red wine*
32 oz carton of beef broth (use a good quality)
1 (10 oz) package sliced portobello mushrooms
1 Tbsp dried thyme (or 2 Tbsp if using fresh)
1 tsp salt (may need less depending on how salty the broth is)
1-2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese, shredded, optional
Bread Bowl, optional (I used the Italian recipe)

Directions:

-Put meat and flour into a large zip-top bag, and shake to coat.
-Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large skillet over med-high heat, and add in half of the meat. Brown meat on all sides (about 4-6 minutes). When browned, remove to slow cooker. Heat another Tbsp of oil, and repeat with the other half of the meat.
-Heat remaining Tbsp oil and add in onions, celery, and garlic. Cook until almost tender, taking care not to burn garlic. When done, add onions, celery, and garlic to the meat in the slow cooker.
-Deglaze the pan with the wine and let it cook down a bit. Add to slow cooker.*
-Add the beef broth, mushrooms, thyme, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker. Cook on low for approximately 8 hours (until beef is tender).
-Serve in bread bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

*I did not actually do this step, so I can't promise how well it will work out. This soup was good, but I felt it needed another layer for a little more depth, and I thought the wine might add that. Regardless, I didn't deglaze (wasn't in the instructions and I was in a hurry), and I think it would be been good to keep all that good flavor from the beef and veggies. If you didn't want to use wine, you could use a little of the beef broth to do this.

I think you can also play around with the seasoning. I'm not sure what I'll add next time - maybe more thyme, maybe some rosemary - but I think there's lots of room to change this up, which I enjoy.

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