Is it soup yet? Writing and eating a winning weekend combination


While I’ve been busy banging out the third book in my series, I haven’t paid much attention to anything else. I am actually starting to name the dust bunnies, that magically appear under the bed, in the corners of my room, the kitchen…I may have even seen one in the car (that reminds, must take car to car wash).

However, no matter how single-mindedly focused I am on finishing this dang book, I still have to eat. And since the weather in sunny California has gone from brain cell destruction hot to lovely fall weather I started hankering for soup.

Soup is good. Soup is fun. Soup is a meal in a pot. Plus you can eat it with one hand, while typing with the other. So between chapters I whipped up a giant pot of my Roast Beef Veggie Soup. Technically I used the crock pot because the oven is on the fritz but it came out great.

In case you’re hungry for soup, or just hungry, below is the recipe. I like to let it sit for 24 hours so that the flavors marry nicely, but last night I didn’t wait. It’s good no matter when you eat it.

Roast Beef Veggie Soup

1 – 3-5 lb roast (any type will do, although one with marbling, like chuck roast gives it more flavor)
1 – large bell pepper, chopped
1 – large yellow onion, chopped
3 – cloves of garlic minced
½ lb of sliced fresh mushrooms
3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (or 2 tbsp dry)
3-4 sprigs fresh oregano (or 2 tbsp dry)
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1- large can of tomato sauce (29 ounces)
4- cups of water
1- small can of tomato paste (5 ounces)
1- bottle of cheap red wine (Trader Joe’s “2 Buck Chuck” works great)
1 can of beef broth (16 ounces) or 4 bullion cubes in 2 cups of hot water, dissolved
1- 2 lb bag of mixed vegetables
2 lbs of chopped seasonal vegetables of your choice (no potatoes)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Remove roast from wrapper, rinse and pat dry. Tear fresh oregano into small pieces, pull leaves of rosemary from stems and put in small bowl with garlic, olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper, mix well. Use this mixture as a rub and rub into roast thoroughly. Place roast in shallow roasting pan, top with chopped pepper, onion, mushrooms and any remaining rub mixture. Pour ½ to 3/4 of the bottle of red wine over roast and vegetables. Seal with aluminum foil and place on center rack. Roast in slow oven for 4-6 hours until fork tender. Note: do not check roast frequently, if at all as it will dry the roast out if you do. Once the aroma of the roast beef has filled the kitchen, it’s probably ready. Check with fork, if it cuts easily, it is ready, if not, reseal and cook for another 45 minutes and continue until roast reaches fork tender stage. (Note: you can also do this step using a crock pot but you won’t get the same caramelization on the roast and veggies.)

Once roast is done, remove from oven and remove aluminum foil. Let roast sit for 15-20 minutes. With a fork, shred beef and allow drippings and marinade to be absorbed by meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove beef from refrigerator, and set aside. In a large stock pot combine the remaining red wine, tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef broth and water. Bring to a simmer. Slowly add in roast, including all drippings, and savory vegetables it was prepared with. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Add frozen vegetables to broth, stir well and bring to a simmer. Add fresh vegetables to broth and bring to a simmer, stirring well. Adjust seasonings to your preferences, if broth is too thick, add water or more red wine to your consistency preference. Cook soup on very low heat for 4-5 hours. Once soup is done, I suggest you let it sit for at least 45 minutes so that the flavors marry. Ideally, you should let the soup sit for 24 hours (in the refrigerator), for the most flavorful results.
This soup is very hearty and needs only a good crusty bread or crisp green salad to make it a meal. I promise it is the best beef vegetable soup you’ve ever had.

Writer Chick

copyright 2014

Ole! Soup, Anyone?

(HT to Gerry for this recipe – rumor has it that it is yummy and comes from his sister. WC )

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 package ranch-style dressing mix
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 cup water
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 15-ounce cans pinto beans
1 15-ounce can black beans
1 15-ounce can cream-style corn
Brown beef with onions in a medium-size soup pot.  Drain excess grease.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes before serving.
Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.
I’d add that you could serve it with fresh taco chips or TJ’s blue corn tortilla chips, a crisp green salad and a nice cold Dos Equis. Oh yeah!

Soup’s On!

It’s that time of year – and while it’s still quite warm during the day out here – the evenings are getting brisk. The night air cues my brain that it’s time to start making big vats of homemade soup.

One of my favorites to make is a very thick vegetable soup. You may even think it’s more like a stew. What ever you call it – make it. Eat it with a crisp salad and some good crusty bread.

Vegetable Soup:


20 ounce can of tomato puree
2 cups of filtered water
2-3 big soup bones (beef)
large yellow onion – chopped
bell pepper – chopped
string beans cut in bite size pieces
carrot chopped
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup of black beans (only black beans)
1/2 cup of peas
(you can use frozen mixed veggies if you like, but fresh is better)
optional: potatoes/lima beans
cup of beef broth
1 tbs olive oil
1 clove of garlic minced
1 chopped tomato
salt/pepper to taste
1-2 tsp cayene pepper
1 tbs worshechire sauce
1 tbs oregano

In a separate pot, put the soup bones in just enough water to cover, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 1 hour. Save liquid and give the bones to the dog.

In a stock pot add the olive oil and heat, saute onions, garlic and bell pepper until soft. Add beef broth, tomato puree and liquid from the soup bones (note, there may be some meat that has come off the bones in cooking, add that if you like it, if not, give it to the dog) and the spices. Stir over medium heat until well blended. Add the veggies bring to just under a boil and then turn down heat so soup can simmer. Leave it on the back burner for about two hours. Check every 30 minutes or so to add water if needed and to adjust spices. I like to cook it this long so the flavors really marry and you have a good flavorful soup, though you can cut the cooking time down to an hour and fifteen minutes if you prefer the veggies more el dente.

After two hours turn off the heat, stir, adjust spices again. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Make your salad and slice up your bread and then eat. If you feel really decadent, you can top it with some grated cheddar cheese.