Homemade vegetable soup is a bowl full of love and caring. It is a bowl of "good for you." It is also a bowl of easy to make. Both children came home yesterday to spend the weekend celebrating a family birthday. The day dawned gray and drippy as so many winter days this year. It was the perfect day for All Day Vegetable Beef Soup.
I always start this soup sometime mid morning and just let it simmer all day on the stove. After a while, I may turn it off and let it set for an hour and then turn it back on. The beauty of this soup is that you can't really overcook it. It just keeps getting better as the flavors meld and it cooks down. It is also fabulous reheated.
So yesterday morning I pulled down my old pressure cooker pot, which is very heavy and prevents any possible scorching. Then I got to work. The most time-consuming part of the process for me is trimming and cutting up the chuck roast. I always buy a roast instead of pre-cut soup or stew beef. I like to know what I'm getting, and I believe the quality of the meat is better with a whole roast. I am also kind of obsessive about trimming as much fat as possible from the meat.
Once the meat and onions are browned and all the ingredients are in the pot, the soup virtually minds itself. Just check back now and then to stir and/or adjust the lid. I leave the lid partially askew to allow steam to escape and to prevent the soup from boiling. The key is to simmer the soup over a long time, which makes the meat melt-in-your-mouth tender. And being from the South, I don't mind my vegetables soft.
Turns out, the All Day soup was an especially good choice yesterday. The daughter got caught in a snowstorm and there was a wreck on the interstate. The road was closed and she was stuck for some two hours waiting for the accident to be cleared. No problem, the soup didn't mind waiting, and neither did we.
All Day Vegetable Beef Soup
3-3 1/2 pound chuck roast
1 medium-large onion, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 carrots, sliced
1 28-ounce can tomatoes, cored and rough chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas
2 cups frozen green beans
2 cups frozen lima beans
3 cups frozen corn
1 large russet potato, diced (about 2 cups)
9 cups water
2-3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
Trim fat from chuck roast and cut meat into bite-sized pieces. Heat skillet over medium high heat, add meat and onions. Salt and pepper to taste. Brown meat and onions, stirring frequently. Transfer browned meat/onion mixture to large, heavy stockpot using a slotted spoon to allow fat to drain.
Add tomatoes, carrots, frozen vegetables and potato to pot. Add water and stir to combine. Stir in herbs. Cover with lid set slightly askew and cook over low heat about six hours or more. Stir occasionally. Add more water if needed.