simple hearty beef soup

Fortunately there aren’t too many dramas in life that can’t be shared and many times resolved over a good chat, great coffee and freshly baked slice of cake or muffin.  But some days, especially late Autumn & Winter days, would you agree there’s nothing quite like a wholesome bowl of soup to soothe the soul? Especially if the change of season has left you or your family members with a cold. Urgh!

The flavours in this old family soup recipe remind me of Osso Bucco, that so-satisfying slowly cooked Italian stew we all love. Its rich flavour and fall-off-the-bone meat is tender yet filling. I can’t remember a time when this wonderful beef soup wasn’t a part of our family favourites. 

On a separate but related note -  Would you forgive me friends if I shy away from sugar and white flour for a little while? All feedback welcome in comments below. I’ve had quite a number of regular readers contact me re. more nutritious recipes. Like some of you, I’m also doing a little reboot  at the moment to get back on track. Balance (with our food and busy lives) can be allusive at times -  if we allow it. I hope you'll enjoy the addition of my best wholesome recipes over the coming weeks.  And until I can't resist sharing more sweeties with you. 

Ingredients ½ cup dried soup mix (pies, barley & lentils mix) ❤  1 tablespoon lentils ¼ cup white arborio rice (or brown rice if you prefer) ❤ 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced ❤ 2 celery stalks, diced ❤ 2 carrots, peeled and diced ❤ 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed ❤ 1 white onion, peeled and diced ❤ 1 tablespoon vegemite ❤ 800 grams beef shin ‘osso bucco’ some of the fat trimmed ❤ 9-11 cups water depending on your pot size (I use approx 12 cups of water in my 5 litre capacity pot - doesn’t need to be exact) freshly cracked pepper to taste

Method - Rinse soup mix, lentils and rice in a fine sieve under running water to clean grains. Set aside.

Peel and chop tomatoes. Peel and dice carrots, garlic and onion. Wash and dice celery stalks.

Place all ingredients; legumes, vegetables, trimmed beef shin, vegemite and water in a pressure cooker pot or regular stovetop pot. Simmer very slowly on low heat, covered for at least 1 hour in your pressure cooker or 3 hours covered on your stovetop until soup is full of flavour and meat falling from the bone. I add lots of freshly cracked pepper. I tend to leave the meat in fairly chunky size pieces. If any fat rests on the top once cooled, just skim it off with a spoon. Keeps well for 5 days covered in the refrigerator, the flavour certainly enhances over that time.