Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Beef and Vegetable Soup

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Grade: A

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: Cook's Illustrated (Sept 2007)
Recipe: America's Test Kitchen TV Show (Season 9)

No, that picture doesn't have that much to do with my soup. But I couldn't get a good pic and I have to talk about mushrooms, so I thought of this one (taken at Acadia in Maine). I don't like mushrooms. I like the flavor, but I don't like their sliminess. Sometimes, when they are mixed in with things they are are ok, if cut fairly small. This recipe says that the mushrooms are important for contributing to the meaty flavor of the broth, and allows the soup to be prepared quickly.

So, I didn't want to skip them. I tried using less, and also did something dumb. The recipe called for cutting the mushrooms in quarters, but I chopped them really small, hoping they would disappear more into the soup. All that did was make the mushrooms harder to pick out, because I did find them rather unappetizing.

Other than that though, the soup was delicious. The broth was delicious. The meat was delicious. But I had to pick through every spoonful to remove mushrooms. That was not fun. I also should mention I didn't feel like the celery added that much.

I did not add the optional potatoes (since they weren't listed as an ingredient, and I forgot them.) I wish I had. The soup wasn't quite hearty enough for me. In the end, I scooped up all the meat and carrots (picking out the mushrooms) and some broth for leftovers. Then I strained the remaining broth and froze it for later. [Update: I have used the broth again. I basically cooked the meat in the soy sauce, added chopped carrots and potato (slightly precooked in microwave), then added the defrosted broth. I cooked this about 20 minutes then added some frozen peas. This was delicious and mushroom free!

But if I make again, I have a mushroom issue to deal with. I'm not quite sure how I would handle it. Definitely not cut them up tiny though.

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