Almost every community and church cookbook has at least two recipes for a really good, nourishing vegetable beef soup. Aunt Barbara’s Pantry Soup, Sunday Night Supper Soup or Bone Soup—all delicious and nutritious. This version, flavored with fragrant spices and herbs, is sometimes called Friendship or Christmas Soup and is adapted from recipes in church cookbooks in many rural mid-western communities. It seems to reflect the food flavors and traditions that traveled with settlers as they moved westward and brought their recipes with them. This rich, hearty soup simmers for several hours and fills the kitchen with fragrant warmth. With a basket of fresh baked buttermilk biscuits, it’s a comforting supper on a cold winter night.
• 2 tblsp oil
• 1 lb beef with bones—or meaty soup bones
• ½ tsp. turmeric
• 1 ½ tsp. salt
• 1 heaping tblsp total of mixed herbs/spices- dried thyme, sage, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg—more or less of each to taste
• 1-2 qt beef stock, broth or 1 qt of each
• 1-12 oz can tomato or vegetable juice
• 1 tblsp anchovy paste
• ¼ cup chopped parsley
• 1 c. carrots, diced
• 1 small onion
• 1 c. celery
• 1 potato
• 1 cup green beans
• 1 small turnip
• Handful of chopped parsley
Cut vegetables to small dice. Dredge meat and bones in flour, salt and pepper and brown in 2 tblsp oil in a large, heavy pot. Remove meat and bones, then add onions, carrots, turnip, potato, green beans, parsley and celery and stir briefly. Add turmeric and stir.
Add remaining seasonings, cook and stir for a minute. Add all other ingredients, including meat/bones. Beef stock alone will make a dense, rich soup—mix with broth for a thinner version. Simmer very slowly, covered, for 3-5 hours. Remove meat from bones and return to pot. Adjust seasonings. Refrigerate overnight for even more flavor. Serves 4-6.
The Kitchen Hive