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Stoup’s On!

October 7, 2011

I’m in Annapolis enjoying the weather and the boat show that we’re here to see. We travelled here with friends who are boat owners and sailors and seeing the show through their eyes is much like watching joyful children at Christmas. It warms my and my handsome half’s collective hearts to see folks we care about drooling and dreaming. It also warms our hearts to know that – while we are very glad that they own boats – we are very glad that we don’t. Too much work!

Besides enjoying all of the sights and sounds of a seaport and the boat show, being in a locale that actually experiences a true autumn made me think about how much I love soups and stews. The following is one of our family favorites. It’s been known to have curative powers, so I highly recommend it on those days when you need something to boost your immune system. Since it is thicker than a soup but thinner than a stew, it’s sort of a hybrid – a “stoup” as Rachel Ray says. It freezes very well – so if it makes too much for one meal, pop the leftovers in the freezer for another time.

VEGETABLE BEEF SOUP/STEW

1 ½ pounds of lean beef stew meat
Salt and pepper
Flour
2 TBSP. oil
2 TSP. flour

Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste on both sides of stew meat. Heat oil in large pot on medium heat. Dredge meat in flour and cook meat until browned, stirring often. Then sprinkle 2 TBSP. flour and stir again. Add to the browned meat:

2 cups water
2 cloves minced garlic OR 1 tsp. minced jarred garlic
3 tsps. beef bouillon cubes or 3 tsps. of “Better Than Bouillon Beef Base”
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp. thyme leaves

Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 ½ hour or until meat is tender.

While meat is stewing, wash and cut vegetables into bite sized pieces:

½ head of cabbage
1 medium to large onion
1 medium to large potato
1 zucchini OR yellow squash
2 carrots
1 stalk celery
1 bell pepper
1 turnip (optional)

After meat has stewed and meat is tender, add the vegetables along with:

1 cup of water
1 14 ounce can of Italian diced tomatoes

Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for an hour or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

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