Here is a very simple winter recipe that we like to make using veggies from root cellar or freezer, and organic grass-fed beef from farmer Mike a couple towns over in Lyman. We use a soup bone for this, and the butcher leaves plenty of meat on. If your soup bone is not meaty, add a pound or so of stew meat.
Somehow, some Burgundy wine from California snuck itself into the pot even though we aspire to the hundred mile diet. But we have good intentions having started some Marechal Foch grapevines for wine making.
The stock for our soups is made from vegetable scraps, mushroom stems, chicken bones or whatever else is handy. Collect such trimmings in a container in the freezer and cook them into a broth when there are enough. Add a couple of chopped garlic cloves while cooking, and some salt and pepper.
Jalepeno pepper adds a wonderful zip to winter cooking. Ours were picked from the garden and then sewn onto a long string and have been drying in the kitchen window, ready to pluck off the string and use at any time.
This recipe is full of good things and sometimes comes out more like a stew than soup. You can thicken it if you like with a flour and water roux. Also feel free to add other vegetables such as peas, corn, or whatever you have on hand. Along with a green salad freshly picked from the cold frames, it is a complete meal. It is also wonderful with freshly baked corn bread.
Beef soup bone
4 quarts of stock
1 medium onion coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
2 large carrots cut into 1/2” diagonal slices
2 medium potatoes cut into 1” cubes
2 cups of green beans
1 Jalepeno pepper finely diced (include the seeds if you like it little hotter)
1 cup of Burgundy wine
Salt & pepper to taste
Put the stock into a cast iron dutch oven and bring to a boil. Add the soup bone and simmer for an hour. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and potatoes. Simmer another hour. Add the green beans, jalepeno pepper and wine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a half hour. Remove the bone, cut the meat into chunks and add it to the pot, then discard the bone (“here, Rover!”). Add roux to thicken if desired. Serve. -G.H.