Although I grew up on soup & sandwiches for lunch, and love a nice hearty stew on a cold winter night, my family isn’t quite as enthusiastic about soups and stews. They’ve learned to like chicken soup when they’re sick, but have never really liked beef stew. Since my soup has tended to be a “toss whatever I have on hand in the pot” endeavor, rather than something that follows a specific recipe, I started to wonder if it was my soup they didn’t care for, rather than all soups. I took it as a challenge to read many recipes, modify to my family’s preferences, and keep trying until I found one that my family liked. Success! Following is the recipe that finally had my son saying, “Hey! This is pretty good!”
- 2 qt rich beef stock
- 2 lb beef stew meat
- 8 stalks celery
- 8 carrots
- 4 parsnips
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme (about 2-3″ long, each)
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 4 bay leaves
- salt to taste
Trim fat and gristle from meat. Chop meat and vegetables into bite-size pieces. Put everything in the crockpot and cook on low for about 8 hours.
Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs before serving. Makes 15 servings.
The key to a good flavor is a nice, rich stock. It should be gelled well in the refrigerator before being used in this recipe. If you’re not sure whether or not your stock (aka bone broth) is gelled enough, it’s not 🙂 You want it nice and thick. If it’s not gelled well, dump it into a saucepan/stockpot and boil it for a while to to evaporate off some of the water.
(values are approximate, depending on how much salt you use and what you used in your soup stock) If you are counting macronutrients, you will need to measure your soup, divide by 15, and ladle out exactly one serving to know that your nutrient counts are accurate.