Saturday, May 14, 2011

Vegetable Beef & Rice Soup

Another soup recipe so soon? Yes, because I thought the Charmer might eat this one and I wouldn't be stuck eating it all myself. He did ask for more meat last time.

**NOTE** The default servings on this recipe is 20; I changed it to 10. I still had to upgrade halfway through to a bigger pot. I don't like cooking the meat and softening the vegetables in the big silver pots because one has a warped bottom (uneven heat distribution, anyone? but I'm loath to part with it for sentimental reasons) and the other is hard to see down into (in my opinion) for meat and veggie cooking operations. If you make the recipe to feed 20 people, you're going to need a GIANT cauldron, er pot.

When the recipe is adjusted to 10 servings, it calls for 6 cups of beef stock and 3 cups of water. My boxes of 25% reduced-sodium beef stock were 900mL each. I ended up using both boxes (to reduce leftovers and add flavour) which equaled 8 cups of liquid so my version only had 1 cup of water in it. I also left out the red pepper - blech! My carrots were indeed large. Normally, I hate cooked carrots (usually as a side dish), but I'll eat them in this soup. We didn't have enough brown rice so I used jasmine rice instead. Not sure if it made any difference, but maybe a subtle flavour or texture one if any? I also didn't bother with the garnish when serving because I was hungry and didn't care about presentation to myself.

I may have cooked the beef a minute or two too long - by the time I finished washing the dishes and attended to the pot, there was no liquid fat to drain off. In my opinion, that was a good thing so that I didn't have gross liquid in the sink. Ha! I also grinded the pepper mill relentlessly at a few different points in the recipe to add flavour since I didn't add any salt. I figure using the extra beef stock was enough added salt unto itself.

My version of this recipe is hot, filling and tasty! I think you should try it too. I might get slightly smaller carrots next time - there are a lot of them although they're good for me. I just hope the Charmer doesn't mind them...

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