Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rochelle's Beef and Root Vegetable Soup

... That's the name I invented for this dish that doesn't have an "official" name (as far as I know). It's my friend, Rochelle's, Mom's recipe. This is the very first meal Rochelle ever made for us, and it's the first meal we all shared as friends. I also happens to be one of my very favorite soups for several reasons. First- it's so easy! It cooks all day long and makes the house smell so good. Second- it makes enough to freeze a few meals worth. 3rd, it gets my kids to eat veggies they normally wouldn't eat, like parsnips and turnips. The only downside to this soup is the size pot you need to make it in (unless you downsize the recipe). I'm going to have to go find a pot soon, since I always borrow theirs to make this!

1 bone in roast (I like to use an arm roast, but Rochelle has also used bone in steaks before with a boneless roast- use what you can find)
4-6 carrots- grated
2-4 parsnips or white carrots- grated
1-2 turnips- grated
spring onion or 1-2 regular onions- grated
4 medium white potatoes grated, 4 medium white potatoes chopped
3 ribs of celery-chopped
Two Manischewitz vegetable soup mix packets( it contains dried barley, lentils, peas, mushrooms, etc.)This you find on the German food aisle at your local grocery store- it comes in a tube shaped packet. You can also use their Minestrone mix packets if you can't find the vegetable soup packs.

I used more veggies than are pictured.

I start cooking this at about 10-11am to have it ready by 6pm.
Rinse meat, put in the pot, add salt, cover with water and boil. Let simmer until par-cooked.
While meat is cooking, wash, peel, and grate the 4-6 carrots, 2-4 parsnips, 1-3turnips, 1-2 onions, and 4 medium potatoes. I have used a hand grater before, but I recommend using a food processor- it's much easier.
I like my soup to have a lot of veggies, so I use as much as I can of each. The more veggies, the thicker the broth will be.

When meat is par-cooked, add in the soup mix packets, and all the shredded veggies. Add more water as needed.
Let cook all day, simmering on low or the bottom with burn. Stir occasionally, and add salt and pepper as needed. The potatoes absorb a lot of the salt, so keep that in mind.

When the meat starts to fall apart, take it out of the soup and cut it into small pieces, and remove any bones and excess fat.

About an hour before you want to eat, add the chopped celery and some chopped potatoes.

Serve with a crusty artisan bread- we like the garlic infused breads- and a good, light red wine or a Merlot. Pairs very well with Jam Jar (A South African red wine.)

*Freeze the leftovers- if you make a large pot you will get at least 2 other full meals out of this recipe, plus lunch for 2 for the next day. We served it to 4 adults and 4 children last night- 4 of us had second helpings, and I still had enough leftover to send a full meals worth home with them, and keep a meals worth for us.*

**Recipe courtesy of Rochelle Vermeulen and her mother**

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