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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup (Pressure Cooker)

Another new year has begun. I hope everyone enjoyed their New Year celebrations and thank-you for all the well wishes for the new year. May 2009 bring you peace, joy, love and lots of yummy food!

Over the holiday season we did a fair amount of entertaining that resulted in a variety of left overs some that found their way into the soup pot. The weather has been quite cold with snow and blustery winds combined with being exhausted from the holiday season means the soup pot is working overtime. Soup is just so comforting! I especially appreciate that there is very little work to making soup as well.

Last Tuesday afternoon and evening we babysat oldest grandbaby while her parents went to a hockey game. At age two a favourite food is soup so I made a large pot of hearty vegetable beef soup. The basis for this soup is meaty soup bones. Soup bones are always very inexpensive even at the butcher shop where they cost about $1.50 each. These are nice meaty soup bones with enough meat on them for a larger pot of soup.

A common misconception is that making soup is a long, drawn out process when it isn't. Next to a stockpot the most often used kitchen appliance for making soup is a slow cooker. If you have been following this blog you will know that my slow cookers are the least used kitchen appliances I own. I prefer using a pressure cooker for making flavourful broth soups quickly.

Broth

2 meaty soup bones
2 ribs celery cut into chunks
2 carrots or 4 cocktail carrots
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
water to fill pressure cooker to ⅔ mark
Note: I would normally add a quartered, unpeeled onion except I was completely out of fresh cooking onions!

Vegetables
Note: I used home canned vegetables. To substitute store bought use 398 ml (15 oz) cans.
1 500 ml jar carrots
1 500 ml jar green beans
1 500 ml jar niblet corn
4 medium potatoes, cubed and cooked
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 rib celery, sliced

Place the ingredients for the broth into the pressure cooker. Cover with water to the ⅔ line and no further. Place the lid on the pressure cooker. Bring to a boil on high. When the lid begins to vent (steam comes out) place the weight on the pressure valve. Let come to pressure then reduce heat and to keep a gentle rock. Let cook 20 to 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pressure cooker depressurize before removing the weight. Total time for making the both and cooking the meat will be about 45 minutes.

Finished Soup Bones

While the pressure cooker is depressurizing steam the potato cubes. Steaming gives a firmer texture to the potatoes, preferable for soups. Cooking them separately will keep the broth at a lovely clarity. When the pressure cooker has depressurized, remove the weight and lid. Use a large slotted spoon to carefully remove the soup bones. The meat will very tender and easily fall off the bone. It may already have fallen from the bone. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces removing any gizzle and fat (arrow) as you cut. Set the meat aside. Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetable chunks. The broth will be rich and flavourful yet clear. At this point the broth can be quick chilled and defatted (for canning) or used as is. There isn't a lot of fat on soup bones so it is fine to omit defatting.

Return the meat to the broth. Add the green onion and celery to the broth. Bring the soup to a low boil. Drain the vegetables reserving the liquid for later use. Pour into the soup. Add the potatoes. Cook about 5 minutes to heat throughly. Serve with homemade bread or crackers.

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

The total time to make this hearty vegetable beef soup including prep and cooking was just slight of one hour. The majority of that time was cook time with very little prep that freed up time for me to entertain oldest grandbaby while the soup was cooking. The yield was about 6 L of gorgeous vegetable beef soup, more than enough for dinner and lunch the following day. Notice the clarity of the broth despite the soup being chuck full of vegetables? Don't let the clarity fool you either because the broth itself was very rich and flavourful. This was a lovely and easy to make soup perfect for a cold, blustery day! Oldest grandbaby really enjoyed it and I enjoyed being able to spend time with her instead of in the kitchen, not that being in the kitchen is a bad thing just this time of year I'm tired. Ah well, winter vacation time will be here shortly giving me time to rejuvenate.


4 food lovers commented:

Ambrosia said...

That recipe sounds (and looks) great! There's nothing like a bowl of hearty soup and rolls for dinner, followed with hot chocolate by the fire. Makes me warm just thinking about it.

I wanted to tell you that your blog won a Lemonade award! You can check it out at http://brosiasblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/it-doesnt-have-to-be-summer-to-relax.html

Garden Gnome said...

There's nothing like Christmas soup, Modern Princess. It's like Christmas snow :)

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Ambrosia! You are right, soup and warm rolls are perfect for this time of year. I'll pass on the hot chocolate being one who does not like chocolate very much but I'll take a steaming cup of tea :)

Thank-you so much for the award! I'll stop by your blog in the morning and leave a comment.

jaxi3@yahoo.com said...

Wow, your soup is just like mine,but, I do not add the potatoes. I use lima beans, instead. I love to eat mine with buttered crackers as my dad would eat his. You might like it that way. (as an aside, I read somewhere that the potatoes make the soup bitter if you have to reheat it,so I do not use them). I have made my pot for this winter and have 3 nice bags in the freezer. Thank you for this.