Sunday, February 5, 2012

Beef + Mushroom Soup

I find cooking therapeutic. If I may borrow from Garson Kanin, "There are thousands of causes for stress, and one antidote to stress is self-expression. ... My thoughts get off my chest, down my sleeves, and into [my cooking]." The more stressful my day, the more complicated my meal is likely to be. Its not that this happens on purpose, but after years of cooking, I've come to realize that its not the solace of food I am seeking, but the process of its preparation.

Sometimes I decide what I am going to make while I am still in the car on the way home from work, while other times I have no idea and must first do a cursory inspection of available ingredients (nothing takes me out of the zone like a mandatory trip to the grocery store for one missing ingredient). It is totally normal for me to spend a solid five minutes walking between the fridge and the pantry, opening and closing drawers and cabinets, and shuffling through recipes, both online and on paper, before making a decision. Either way, even in this preliminary stage my psyche beings to let go of my stress, and I begin to process and work through all of life's frustrations.

The funny thing about stress is that I often don't realize how much of it I am carrying until its weight begins to lift, leading me to believe that stress-relieving activities should be embraced daily, even if only for thirty minutes. So whether you find relief from stress in cooking or writing, exercise or Sunday night football, I hope that your antidote of choice leaves you feeling refreshed, ready to embrace all of the experiences life has to offer.

Beef + Mushroom Soup
Kelley Gondring

In a large skillet, add:
2 tablespoons olive oil

Once oil is hot, add:
4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 onions, peeled and diced

Saute on medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Remove veggies from skillet and place in a medium bowl. Set aside.

To the same skillet, add:
1 tablespoon olive oil

Once oil is hot, add:
1.25 pounds stew meat, trimmed and cut in bite sized pieces
Let all sides brown.

Reduce heat to medium and add:
3/4 cup of red wine
1 teaspoon of thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Let simmer 5 minutes.

Add the cooked carrots and onion, plus:
4 cloves garlic, minced
Let simmer 10 minutes.

While the beef and veggies are simmering, in a large pot, bring to a boil:
6 cups beef broth

Add to the broth beef and veggies, plus:
2 1/2 cups potatoes or butternut squash, cubed [I used equal parts white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash]

In the skillet, add:
1 tablespoon olive oil

Once oil is hot, add:
6 large cremini mushrooms, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon thyme

Saute for 5 minutes.

3/4 cups red wine
Cover and let simmer for 5-7 minutes more. Remove from the heat, place in food processor, and puree. Add to the soup.

Let the soup for an hour so that the potatoes are fully cooked and the beef is tender.

Eat up!

No comments:

Post a Comment