And now I declare this “Soup Week”

It has been a rather snowless winter around here, oddly enough. I think you all have hogged all the snow. Sure we've had a few inches here and there and maybe one big snow but not as much as I expected for Boston.

I was excited about the 6-8 inches of snow we supposed to get last week so I headed to the store to buy soup ingredients. Because nothing says snow storm like soup. Unfortunately we didn't get snow. Well, an inch, if that counts.

Still, I declare this soup week. In honor of soup week, I thought I'd share some of my favorite soup recipes.

Beef Stew

2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes 
1/4 cup flour 
2 cups chopped onions 
1/2 cup chopped celery 
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chopped garlic 
4 meat stock 
2 large Idaho potatos, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the vegetable oil. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Toss the beef with the flour. When the oil is hot, add the meat and cook until the meat is browned, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, celery and 1 tablespoon of garlic and continue to cook until the vegetables are wilted and golden about six minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Deglaze the pan with the stock, scraping the browned particles away from the pan. Add the potatoes and carrots. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is very tender. Stirring occasionally. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of minced garlic. Reseason the stew if necessary.


1 lb ground beef

1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce (I puree a can of tomatoes)

1 (29 oz) can pinto beans, with liquid

1 cup diced onion

1/4 cup diced celery

4 medium tomatoes coarsely chopped

2 tsp. cumin powder

3 Tbsp. chili powder (add extra for spicier chili)

1 1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 tsp salt

2 cups water

Brown ground beef and drain. Put all ingredients in a large pot and simmer for 2-3 hours. Alternatively throw it in a crock pot for the day. This makes a full 5 quart crock pot full. This is rather spicy so if you don't like spicy you might want to add a bit less chili pepper.

  • Winter Minestrone (courtesy of Giada De Laurentis)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 oz thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 russet potato, peeled, cubed
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
  • 2 (14 oz) cans beef broth
  • 1 oz piece of parmesan cheese rind
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • Heat the oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta and garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and potato. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese rind to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig.
  • I've omitted the parmesan and the pancetta before and it does lose a bit of flavor but it is still really good!

Now go eat!


  1. says

    We had soup last night for dinner, and I will have some leftovers for lunch. So yummy. I made Tortellini and Chicken. We have snow on the ground, but not much has been falling so far this year. I’m bummed too, as I was told that Montreal would have heaps and heaps. At least we can still go sledding. I too love soups in the winter!

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