Do you know what day it is? It’s Beef and Vegetable Soup day.
It’s the the kind of day that calls for something warm, hearty, comforting and filling – it might look like this particularly rainy day.
See that standing water in the tire tracks? That’s when the outdoor work grinds to a halt around here.
There’s only one remedy for a day like this.
Beef and Vegetable Soup.
Tender pieces of beef, a rich, flavorful broth and creamy white beans make this the perfect slow cooker meal.
This soup requires a few steps to prepare, but the smells coming from the slow cooker throughout the day will totally make it worth your effort!
Here’s how I make it.
Take two pounds of stew meat and trim off the visible fat.
Our butcher must think we have horse-sized mouths because my stew meat was in three inch chunks – waaaay to big to eat. That is, unless you use a knife and fork and I don’t generally like to use those utensils when eating soup.
If your butcher, I mean, meat is like that, cut it into smaller pieces – about an inch big.
Lightly toss the stew meat in flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. You don’t have to completely coat the meat, just a light coating will do – just a few tablespoons. (If you’re gluten free, omit the flour and it will be fine.)
I keep a jar of seasoned flour in my pantry – very handy! Looks like mine is ready for a refill…
Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Add the meat to the pan in two batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan.
The idea here is to brown the meat for a layer of flavor, not cook it completely through.
I use nonstick pans for many of my recipes but for this one, I like to use a regular skillet to add extra flavor.
Brown both batches of beef and add them to the slow cooker.
Browned meat and browned bits…as Martha Stewart would say, “they’re a good thing”
Add your onion, carrot, celery and oregano to the pan and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
By now the bottom of your pan will look pretty brown and have bits of food on it. No worries, that’s a good thing – it will help to add another layer of flavor to the soup.
Add ½ cup of dry red wine to deglaze the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan. When you’ve loosened everything up, add the contents to your slow cooker.
Add remaining ingredients, give it a stir, and let it cook for about 8 hours on low.
- 2 pounds stew meat cut into one inch squares and trimmed of visable fat
- 3-4 Tablespoons flour
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup onion diced
- 1 cup carrots diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 24 ounces beef broth
- 1 can Italian style diced tomatoes
- 1 can cannellini beans
- 4 ounces tomato paste
- Combine flour with salt and pepper. Lightly sprinkle stew meat with the mixture. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add oil. When oil is heated, add half the stew meat and cook on all sides until brown (meat does not need to cook entirely). Remove beef and transfer to slow cooker. Brown the other half of the stew meat the same way (add more oil if needed) and transfer to slow cooker.
- Add onions, carrots, celery and oregano to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add ½ cup red wine to deglaze the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add mixture to the slow cooker.
- Add the beef broth, tomatoes, beans and tomato paste to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- Cook 7-8 hours in the slow cooker on low.
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