Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vegetable Beef Meets Minestrone Soup!

I have been trying really hard to use the ingredients that I already have on hand to avoid going to the store. I wanted to make Vegetable Beef Soup for dinner tonight, but I'm sort of short on fresh vegetables (like potatoes, carrots, & celery) so I compromised by using some frozen veggies & some pasta & legumes. What I came up with is a cross between Vegetable Beef Soup & Minestrone. The thing I love about cooking is that you can improvise in so many ways. Change it up however you want, but this is what I did:


1 lb beef tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 cup flour

salt & pepper

olive oil

1/2 a red onion, diced

1/2 a yellow onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 a pasilla pepper, diced

2 cups frozen mixed veggies (broccoli, corn, carrots, peas, green beans)

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

4 cups beef broth (plus water if you need to thin it out in the end)

1 can kidney beans (or Northern white, garbanzo, pinto, black, etc)

1/2 cup barley

1 cup whole wheat farfalle pasta (I had a half a box on hand, so thats what I used)

oregano, thyme, sage to taste (about a teaspoon each, but you can add more in end if you want)

1 tbsp onion soup mix (the broth was a little broth, so I added this to kick it up a little bit)

Parmesan cheese, for garnish


Put the beef, flour, salt & pepper in a zip lock bag and shake to coat the meat. Heat two turns of the pan of olive oil in a saute pan and brown the beef in batches. Set aside.

In a Dutch oven or large sauce pan, heat 2 turns of the pan of olive oil. Add the onions, peppers, & garlic and saute until soft: 5 or 10 minutes. Add the frozen veggies and warm them up slowly on low heat, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the beef, tomatoes, kidney beans & barley. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add the pasta and spices, bring to a boil, then simmer for another 20 minutes or until the barley & pasta are al dente. Check for spices and if necessary, add more, plus the onion soup mix and about 2 tablespoons of Parmesan. Stir and serve with more Parmesan for garnish.

Serves 6-8.

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