Thursday, January 13, 2011


This old-fashioned soup tastes as wonderful as it looks.  Enjoy!! 

If chicken soup is Jewish penicillin, then this soup was my Grandma's penicillin. Its rich, yet mild flavor, is very comforting. Although many herbs and other vegetables could be added to this soup, I make it just like my Grandma did.

She could buy a big soup bone with lots of meat on it at the corner market, but that is hard to find in today's supermarkets. I like to use slices of beef shanks. Beef neck bones, if available, are good too. Beef stew meat works well.  Oxtails are wonderful in this soup but have gotten very expensive, and are very fatty.  I am sure during The Depression just a soup bone with very little meat would have been used to make the broth.  I was shocked when I was at a big supermarket.  I picked up a package of marrow bones and it cost more than the package of shank meat I was buying. 

This soup is made in two stages.  First the broth is made and strained.  The meat from the broth is added to the strained broth as well as uncooked carrots and celery, rice and barley.  Making the broth first makes it possible to have the carrots and celery cooked just until done and not soggy.

This soup was frequently on our menu in the winter when I was growing up.  Mom or Grandma always made it if someone had been sick.  The soup is rich, yet mild, in flavor and tastes wonderfully like home and simpler times.

At least 2 lbs. soup beef and bones
Large handful of celery leaves and 1 to 2 ribs of celery
1 large carrot, cut into chunks
1 onion, cut into chunks
About 2 1/2 qt. (10 c) cold water

1 to 2 c diced carrots
1 to 2 c diced celery
1/4 c rice
1/2 c barley
Salt, to taste
Lowry's seasoned black pepper, to taste or fresh ground black pepper

Beef stew meat or/and shank meat, onions, celery, carrots, rice, barley, salt and pepper.  I had some stew meat in the freezer and I added that to the soup as Tom needs the nutrition from beef for his blood counts while he is on Chemo. 

In a large covered soup pot, simmer soup meat, celery and leaves, chunked carrot, onion and water until you have a nice rich broth and the meat is falling off the bones. Strain the broth through a sieve. The broth can now be refrigerated and the fat removed after it congeals on the top of the broth. Remove meat from the bones and add to broth. I give the celery, carrot onion mixture to the dog. To make soup, add diced carrots, celery, rice and barley to broth and meat. Simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender. Season to taste and serve with love.

To a large pot add beef.

Add celery and celery leaves.

Add coarsely chopped carrots.

Add a coarsely chopped onion.

Add 10 cups of cold water. 

Bring to just a boil and quickly reduce heat to simmer.  Cover.  If you want a very clear broth, skim off the brownish "scum".  I do not skim it off as it is water-soluble protein and therefore nutritious.  I just stir it into the soup.

Cook until you have a rich broth and the vegetables are mushy.

Refrigerate and then remove the fat from the top. 

I use a slotted spoon to remove the congealed fat.

Strain the broth.

Remove the meat to a cutting board.  Discard the vegetables from the broth.

Chop meat into bite-sized pieces.

Chop celery.

Chop carrots.

Measure out barley.

Measure out rice.
Add meat, carrots, celery, barley and rice to strained, de-fatted broth.

Simmer covered until the rice and barley are cooked, and the vegetables are tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  I like Lowry's Seasoned Pepper with this soup.

Oh soooooooo good especially on a cold, snowy day like today.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy old-fashioned goodness.


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