Tag Archives: homemade beef broth

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

29 Oct
One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

This is a soup I’ve wanted to make for ages, and FINALLY got inspired to just do it. Soup? Check. Easy? Check. One pot? Check. One hand? Check, dammit. I get my traction device off in less than two weeks, woohooo! But in this seemingly long entrapment from my injury, I have found that one can be quite resourceful while dealing with a disability. Did you know you can break dried lasagna noodles into even pieces one-handed? Simply place the noodle in a glass bowl then push the edge of the noodle hanging out over the lip of the bowl. Snap! Keep moving it up and snapping off the end. See? Easy-peasy! (Newcomers to this site can read about my injury here.)

My recipe here came from several internet-inspired sources. As always, feel free to adapt, as that is pretty much all I’ve been doing lately. Without further ado…

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground hot Italian sausage
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 cups homemade or low-sodium beef broth, divided
1 24-ounce jar good-quality meatless spaghetti sauce
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1 bay leaf
10 uncooked dried lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
Fresh Mozzarella slices
Ricotta cheese scoops
Fresh-grated Parmesan cheese

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the ground beef, sausage, and onion over medium heat until meats are browned and onion is translucent. Add the garlic and stir for a minute more. Drain grease, if necessary.

Add 4 cups of the beef broth and the rest of the ingredients except the cheeses, stirring to separate the noodles. Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about a half hour until noodles are soft and soup has thickened, about 30 to 45 minutes. Add the remaining two cups of broth, as needed during that time, until soup is desired consistency.

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

Discard bay leaf and add Mozzarella and Ricotta cheeses to the pot, then let sit without stirring until starting to melt. Ladle scoops of soup and melty cheese into bowls and garnish with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread and a side salad.  This is good. Really good. We are talking seconds and thirds good. Trust me.

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

14 Nov
Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

I probably sound like a broken record, but I LOVE SOUP SEASON! A few weeks ago I grabbed the rest of the beef marrow bones out of the freezer and decided to make a huge pot of beef bone soup stock. We have a new quarter side of beef on the way for our freezer and it was way past due to finish using those up.

Beef Bone Stock

Beef Bone Stock

After that task was accomplished, of course I had to make some soup out of that rich, golden broth. Our grass-fed ground beef from last year was long gone, but my hubby bought a fancy electric meat grinder and he ground up a bunch of chuck and made 3/4-pound bags for the freezer. That amount makes so much more sense for our family than a pound since there are only three of us.

Also out of the freezer came some frozen tomatoes from our harvest. All I had to do was run hot water over them and the skins slipped right off!

Armed with these ingredients, I set off to make some soup. I cobbled together more ingredients out of the pantry and fridge (including some almost expired fresh spinach) and this is what I came up with:

Ground Beef and Lentil Soup Ingredients

Ground Beef and Lentil Soup Ingredients

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups crushed tomatoes with liquid (or a 14.5-ounce can)
4 cups low-sodium beef broth, preferably homemade
1 cup dry green lentils
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Large handful fresh spinach, roughly chopped
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Ground Beef and Veggies

Ground Beef and Veggies

Add the ground beef, onion, carrots, and celery in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. In this case I used my pressure cooker pot. (Stay tuned, confession time coming!) Cook over medium heat and stir until meat is brown and vegetables are starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

Next add the tomatoes (I crushed them with my hands when adding them) plus the liquid, the beef broth, lentils, oregano, and sugar. (The small amount of sugar offsets the acidity in the tomatoes.) Stir to combine.

Soup Ingredients Ready to Finish Cooking

Soup Ingredients Ready to Finish Cooking

CONFESSION TIME: At this point, I honestly do not remember if I actually pressure cooked this or just finished simmering uncovered. Really! I know I used my pressure cooker pot from the photos. Did I use it because I intended on pressure cooking the lentils, or did I use it because all my other large pots were used up from making the beef stock earlier in the day? This was only a few weekends ago! Please don’t laugh at me, laugh WITH me!

Nonetheless, either pressure-cook this for 20 minutes, or simmer it uncovered for about an hour. After the lentils are soft, add in the chopped spinach and stir until wilted.

Chopped Spinach Added

Chopped Spinach Added

Taste test, then add sea salt and ground pepper, to taste. I thought the soup needed just a tad more flavor boost, so added a couple of teaspoons of balsamic vinegar. Perfect. Soup’s on! Serve with crusty bread.

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Stocking the Freezer for Fall/Winter…

14 Oct
Stocked Freezer

Stocked Freezer

The fruits….er…soups of my labors this past week!

I now have about 4 quarts of homemade beef broth, one large container of leftover soup, and two packages of oil herb cubes in the freezer! Next on my list is to cook up some chicken and/or turkey broth.

Here are some recipes to help you stock up for this fall and winter:

Preserving Fresh Herbs

Homemade Beef Broth

Homemade Turkey/Chicken Broth

Lentil, Barley, and Ham Bone Soup

Italian Ground Turkey and Spinach Soup

Rosemary White Bean Soup with Veggies and Ham

Black-eyed Pea Soup

Italian Ground Turkey and Spinach Soup

7 Oct
Italian Ground Turkey and Spinach Soup

Italian Ground Turkey and Spinach Soup

“Mom, this is the best soup you’ve ever made — and I don’t even like soup that much!” Wow. That was a surprise comment from her as she was finishing her first bowl of this tasty, filling soup while sopping up the last of the broth with a thick slice of crusty French bread. Fall has arrived and the nights are getting downright brisk (read freezing) and this is my soup-making time of year. I had a package of Italian-seasoned ground turkey in the freezer that I bought on a whim a few weeks ago. My husband was certainly skeptical of this particular purchase, since the very first meal I ever made for him was a complete disaster using this type of meat. I had unfortunately bragged up front to him about how much I loved to cook and was going to make him a delicious “healthy” dinner. I also decided to use our trusty old grill back then too, and at that point in time I did not have much grilling experience either. Long story short, he was served a meal of burnt, crumbled turkey burgers, of which half the burger fell through the grill because I didn’t use any binder in the meat. I was also unaware that turkey burger is so lean that it does not grill up well without it. ANYWAYS, last night his confidence was restored in my ground turkey-making skills with the soup. He also went back for seconds. This is definitely one soup I will keep in my rotation. The flavors just explode in your mouth and the varying textures make every spoonful a delight.  I hope you agree.

Italian Ground Turkey and Spinach Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 pounds Italian-seasoned ground turkey (I used Jennie-O brand)
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped baby carrots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Black pepper to taste
5 to 6 cups homemade beef broth (or low sodium if using box/canned)
1 can low sodium petite diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 can low sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1 6 to 9 ounce bag of spinach, coarsely chopped
Shredded Parmesan cheese

In a soup pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high and add the ground turkey, onions, carrots, garlic and pepper to taste. Cook and stir until all the meat and vegetables have released their moisture and the ground turkey starts sticking a little,about 15 minutes. This ensures the turkey is cooked all the way through, as it doesn’t really “brown” much like burger does. Add the beef broth, then bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 more minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Now add the rest of the ingredients except the cheese, and bring back to a simmer for a few more minutes until the spinach is wilted. You can eat this now, or cover and keep warm until ready to serve. I made this a couple of hours before dinnertime because my husband was out golfing and wasn’t quite sure when to expect him home (the course had a “frost delay”), but I knew he’d be mighty hungry when he got in. He barely made it back before dark, and just as I suspected, he was ready to eat! We sliced up some warm, buttered French bread and added shredded Parmesan cheese to the soup for garnish. Heavenly delicious!

How to Make Homemade Beef Broth

19 May
Homemade Beef Broth

My First Attempt at Homemade Beef Broth.

Subtitled, Or How NOT To…

I can be very compulsive when it comes to trying new things in the kitchen, and sometimes things just don’t work if you don’t even attempt to research just a teensy bit before barging head-on with a new recipe. This was one of those times. My husband wanted to make a beef stir-fry with our leftover tri-tip steak. We also just happened to be out of any chicken or beef broth. I have always made my own chicken broth, but had never tried to make beef stock. However, I had been planning on doing so because I had been stockpiling beef rib bones in the freezer for just such purpose.  It was only about 4:30 and figured I had plenty of time to whip up some beef broth. I mean, it would be just like making chicken broth, right? Throw the bones into a pot of water, add some veggies and spices, and simmer for an hour or two, right?

Bones in Roasting Bag

Bones in Roasting Bag

Well… no. After a couple of hours, I realized I must have done something wrong, as the broth looked suspiciously like vegetable broth. At this point, one of my online friends pointed out to me that I needed to roast the bones in the oven first after I embarrassingly bragged about making my first batch of beef broth. Oops. All was not lost, though, as we went ahead and used the vegetable broth (with a brief hint of beef) for our stir-fry sauce, and it came out fine. I went ahead and froze the rest of the broth for a later use and rescued the bones (once again) so I could try attempt number two the next day.

Round two worked out perfect. I happened to have a turkey roasting bag on hand, so I put the bones and veggies in that. It made it a snap to turn the bones over half-way through the cooking time. Now we have plenty of beef (and vegetable) stock in our freezer for future concoctions!

Homemade Beef Broth

About 4 pounds of beef bones
3 to 4 carrots (or a half bag of baby carrots)
2 celery stalks with leaves
1 onion, quartered
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Seasoning (I used Garlic and Herb)
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
10 whole black peppercorns

Roasted Beef Bones

Roasted Beef Bones

Place the bones and veggies in a turkey roasting bag, then arrange in a layer on a large baking sheet. Cook in a 400 degree oven for one hour, flipping the bag after a half hour. Pour the contents of the bag into a dutch oven or large soup pot, then fill the pot with water. You can add more fresh veggies at this time if you want, I did. Then add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for four to six hours, adding hot water as needed. The longer you cook it, the deeper brown your stock will turn. When ready, line a colander with cheese cloth, then strain the broth into another pot or bowl. You now have a healthy, no-salt beef broth!

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