Something for the guys…if you like steak then this soup will doubtless appeal to you. And if you are watching your calories, this can be an especially good choice for a meal.
The trick is to grill an extra steak the next time you bbq (braai). It doesn’t have to be a big steak, but you do need to make sure it has plenty of char on the outside, and don’t baste or season it with anything. Just a piece of your favourite steak thrown on the grill and fired up very nicely. You can refrigerate the cooked meat up to three days or freeze it for up to 6 months and still get that delicious grilled steak flavour in the soup. Leftover soup microwaves well, so it is great for lunches the next day. It also freezes very nicely.
Scrumptious Steak Soup
Up to ½ lb (250 g) grilled steak of your choice…the more char the better
1 tbsp olive oil
One onion, cut coarsely
1 bell pepper, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces (optional)
3 (or more) garlic cloves, crushed (roasted garlic is excellent here)
2 tsp dried mixed herbs or 1 bouquet garni
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup brown or portobellini mushrooms, sliced
4 large ribs celery, including the tops and leaves, sliced across the grain
1 cup red wine
1 can crushed tomatoes
4 cups vegetable or beef stock
4 carrots, cut bite sized
1 cup turnips, scrubbed and cut into bite sized pieces (optional)
½ cabbage, cut into 1” chunks
Your choice of starch (optional…omit to keep calorie count down)
---1 cup cooked and rinsed rice
---4 med potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized pieces
---1 cup small pasta, cooked and rinsed
Salt if necessary (stock will have salt in it)
Trim fat away from meat and cut away from bone. Remove any gristle or inedible bits. Cut meat into small pieces, no larger than ½ inch cubes.
Heat olive oil in the bottom of a very deep pot and add onion and meat. Cook on high heat, stirring constantly, until onion begins to caramelize and turn brown. Reduce heat and add garlic, mushrooms, celery, mixed herbs (do not add bouquet garni here, add it after the liquid is in the pot), cumin and bell pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until celery slices begin to soften.
Add wine, stock, and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add carrots (and potatoes if using them) and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, then add cabbage and turnips. Remove cover and allow to cook for another half hour. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Just before serving, add rice or pasta, if using them, cover and allow to stand for 10 minutes for rice/pasta to heat up.
Serve with a bit of grated Parmesan or Roman cheese, garnish with fresh parsley or sprig of celery leaf
Photos by TomHarpel and Wordridden, Flickr