Monday, February 4, 2013

National Homemade Soup Day- Peperoncini Stew

So I hadn't planned on doing another post just yet. It was a rather hectic weekend. My oldest step daughter and her husband went up to Fairbanks for the weekend for a roller derby bout and left our 5 year old grand daughter with us for the weekend. On top of that, my youngest step daughter was home sick with a, thankfully, mild case of the stomach flu, and I'm down with the flu as well, again, thankfully mild and _not_ the stomach bug, just regular old fashioned achey-type flu. So it was bound to be an interesting weekend, and to top it all off, our JRT, Willow, finally passed away Friday night.  She put up a fight right to the end and should have been dead 6 times over just last week alone, but she just didn't want to go until she'd gotten to say goodbye to all the girls, and probably would have held out for my step son if he'd been in state at all. Fortunately, she passed just after the grand daughter had been sent to bed for the night and it was as smooth a passing as she would allow herself to have and is now over that Rainbow Bridge and playing with the three dogs we've had pass before her.
Here's a happier picture of her from a few years ago, doing one of the things she loved best.. playing ball:
She loved chasing that ball....

But, this morning I got up and eventually got online to find that today is apparently national homemade soup day. Oddly, I had already planned on making a "left over stew," so figured, why not go ahead and blog it!

So, today's soup is brought to you today in part by Stephanie O'Dea's recipe from her site A Year of Slow Cooking . I just love her site and have found all sorts of wonderful and easy recipes over there. I had actually run across her site before I went gluten free while looking for slow cooker recipes, but it was such a lucky find. All of her recipes are gluten free, or can be as long as you check your ingredients. We recently made her Peperoncini Beef recipe and had some left overs that I decided would be good to try in a stew. We use it either for a pulled beef type sandwich or serve over potatoes or rice. It can be a bit spicy depending on how strong the peppers you use are.

So, assemble your components:
Red bowl for trimmings for stock, blue bowl for today

I am using up some veggies that are getting a bit old, so about 4 carrots, about 1/3-1/2 a bunch of celery, 2 large potatoes and 1 smallish onion. Give these a good rough chop.

You can see I am using a 2 bowl method. Trimmings are all going in a separate bowl. These will get bagged and stuck in the freezer until I do stock the next time. Just don't put potato or other starchy veggies in here as those will cloud your broth. save those for composting.

I'm also using some garlic, which isn't in any of the pictures, and about half a can of corn and half a can of green beans and, not pictured, a can of diced tomatoes and a few splashes of Worchestershire sauce. This time of year it's not easy to get much variety in our fresh veggies, so canned or frozen are regular staples, and sadly, the growing seasons aren't long enough for the most part to make canning my own for the whole year an option, though I would love to and do what I can when I can. I am using some home made beef stock that I did last month.

Not sure how much of the beef was left, it about half filled this bowl, with a little mashed potatoes in there as well, which is fine for us, because that will help thicken things up.

Once you've got everything chopped, you can choose to do this on the stove top or in a slow cooker. I opted for the slow cooker option. So I've placed everything in the slow cooker: veggies, beef, about 2/3 of the quart jar of stock, some of the liquid from the canned veggies, garlic and some pepper. Give it a good stir to mix things up and since I did this later in the day, I turned it to high so it will cook faster. Really just have to heat things through and cook the veggies.

In the Crock and ready to cook!
So this is cooking away. We might have to tweak the flavor as we go, depending on what your family likes and/or will tolerate :)

The crock I am using is a 4.5 quart one and, as you can see, this fills it pretty well. I am also making more then the 3 of who are here this week could eat tonight, as I want left overs from this for a few days. I'm using as much garlic as my family can stand in this as well. We're battling colds and flu, so we will be doing a lot of soups and stews this week and maybe next week as well. Of course, soups and stews are also very budget friendly and can be made using just about anything you've got in your fridge, freezer and pantry, so you might be seeing them make a regular appearance on here.  In fact, I know I've got one soup recipe that just HAS to be posted, but it has to wait until I can make it again. It is one of hubby's favorites, but I just don't have any pictures of it.. and what use is a food blog without pictures? *laugh*

Ok so, about 6 hours later we have stew. And it's pretty tasty. We're serving it with garlic bread.

So here's the quick rundown of what went n:
4 carrots, diced
about 5 celery stalks, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 large potatoes - diced
1/2 can corn plus liquid
1/2 can green beans
1 can diced tomatoes
a few splashes of Wostershire sauce
about 2-3 cloves garlic, diced
3/4 a quart of beef stock
@ 2 cups left over shredded beef with peperoncini peppers
@1/3 c left over mashed potatoes as thickener

combine and cook til done, either stove top or slow cooker (Slow cooker on high for about 6 hours)

(Oh and don't worry.. we still have plenty of doggie companions to keep us company. We have 4 other little dogs in the household and one of them, Petey, came to help me in the kitchen today, you know, just in case I needed someone to do some taste testing while I was prepping...)

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