Episode 66 Let’s Talk About Beef Soup
There are two basic ways to make Beef Soup. One is to start with meat and broth, the other is to start with meaty bones and make your own broth. Both have a place. The first type can be a Manic Mom Meal on the table in under 30 minutes. The second takes hours but most of the work is “hands off” and isn’t hard to make.
Max’s Favorite Soup is a perfect example of a quick and easy beef soup. Beef broth, browned hamburger, and worcestershire sauce build the flavor. You can add any veggies you prefer. It is a good idea to stagger adding the veggies to the soup. Start with the heartier root vegetables and potatoes and let them start cooking before you add the quick-cooking veggies like corn and green beans.
One thing that is missing from this simple soup is the velvety mouth feel that comes from gelatin. When you make broth from bones, the collagen and gelatin present in the bones give the broth body and texture. To mimic this texture, you can add a teaspoon of unflavored gelatin.
It is important to brown the hamburger or chopped meat well. The browning adds flavor to the soup.
The second type of beef soup is roasted bone beef soup. I start with meaty soup bones and season them well with salt and pepper. I roast the bones on high heat for about an hour until the meat is deep brown and the bones are turning golden. You can do this in a Dutch oven or on a rimmed baking sheet.
Once the bones are roasted, I simmer the bones in water with a bay leaf, onion, garlic and other veggies for 3-4 hours. You can do this in the oven or on the stove. I find the oven much easier, but if you don’t have an oven-safe pot with a lid, the stove works fine.
After the broth has simmered, remove the bones, meat, and discard the vegetables. Remove the meat from the bones and cut into pieces before returning to the pot.
If you are adding noodles, rice, or another starch to the soup, I recommend cooking it first so the starch does not soak up all the velvety broth.