RECIPE: Beef Stroganoff-ish Soup

This month, the Dirty Biker hit the road for a couple of weeks to work on our Winslow building project, otherwise known as the 66 Motor Palace

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…plus he had a meeting in San Antonio, so of course when he walked through the Townhomestead doors last Thursday I threw my arms around him in a mad, passionate way (don’t worry… I’ll keep this PG). He looked a bit tired and hit the hay early. Next day, he wasn’t feeling too hot, which wasn’t normal for him. He rarely gets sick. I mean RARELY. But he had the misfortune of getting into a San Antonio cab with a driver who was at the height of a nasty cold. Well… guess what. The Dirty Biker brought the cooties home with him, and now we are both sick.

Bummer.

On the plus side, we did manage to crawl out of bed Sunday to pick up our next motorcycle project, a 1936 Harley-Davidson VLD! It needs tons of work, but it’s a flathead, and we both have been wanting a classic Harley Big Twin to add to our fleet. Seeing it in the back of our truck took away at least a bit of the pain of being sick.

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After our trek to the Salton Sea to pick up the bike, we two sickheads of course wanted soup. Lucky for us, we started making the broth before we left. We’re smart like that.

Here’s the deal with making broth…

Because nearly ALL store-bought broths have migraine causing additives in them (msg, natural flavors, hydrogenated yeast, etc…), it really is best to make your own, but you have to have stuff on hand to do it.

Not long ago, I ran across one of the BEST stock making tips EVER, one we started to apply in the Townhomestead around Christmas. And it’s so stinkin’ obvious. Anytime you’re chopping up vegetables or trimming meat, instead of throwing out the scraps and ends and bones, put them in a big Ziploc and toss them in the freezer. Then… keep adding to the bag. By the time we were ready to make this stock, we had asparagus ends, carrot shavings, onion ends, the bone from our Christmas prime rib, a couple of chicken breast bones and skin from some roast chicken. Sounds pretty gross to mix it all up, eh? Let me tell you, this scrap pile makes for some awesomely flavorful broth.

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What you’ll need…

  • Oil/butter
  • Onion
  • Seasonings of your choice
  • Garlic
  • Bag of Scraps
  • Water
  • Fresh Herbs

The process…

When I dragged myself out of bed to make breakfast, I browned a sweet onion in about a Tablespoon of olive oil/butter combination, then sprinkled in some dried herbs:

  • Thyme
  • Tumeric (’cause it’s supposed to be great for the immune system)
  • Sweet Paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Once those got smellin’ real nice, I added two gloves of crushed garlic, let that heat for just a minute, then dumped in the Bag O’Scraps, covered the whole mess with water, chopped some fresh parsley, rosemary, and basil from my plants, dumped them in, and brought the whole thing to a boil. Once it got there, we–this is going to sound crazy, but trust me–stuck it in the oven at 212 degrees so it wouldn’t boil over and walked away (or in our case, drove away).

Five hours later when we got home from our picking-up-a-classic-Harley-adventure, we didn’t have an oven disaster as I’d thought, but instead had a super rich broth ready for soup. I need to learn to trust the Dirty Biker when he has his brilliant ideas.

We’d planned on making the classic cold remedy–Chicken Soup–so I’d roasted a couple of breasts before hand, but it turns out the broth had a much stronger beef flavor, so we went another direction. We can be flexible like that.

Okay. So here it is. The recipe of sorts (we’re not so awesome at writing traditionally structured recipes)…

Beef Stroganoff-ish Soup

A while back, the Dirty Biker mastered noodles. I mean MASTERED THEM. They are so incredibly delicious, so of course we wanted them in our soup. You can read all about how to make noodles, by clicking the noodle picture below.

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What you’ll need for the soup…

  • Noodles of your picking
  • Chopped Beef
  • Chopped Mushrooms
  • Sliced Carrots
  • Sour Cream
  • Flour

The process…

SO… first step.

STRAIN THE BROTH.

Yep. Shocking, I know, but you probably don’t want to eat the mash of mess in the pot, so you want to separate that into a nice clean broth. (We also used one of those fat separator things to get some of the excess fat out.)

Bring that stock back to bubbling, and add your FRESHLY MADE NOODLES… or any noodle, barley, etc… of your choice.

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We had leftover over pot roast, so chopped up a bunch of that, added some chopped mushrooms, sliced carrots, the wee bit of sour cream we had left in the fridge (maybe an 1/8 of a cup),  and because the Dirty Biker decided he wanted it all a bit thicker, added like a teaspoon of flour and stirred it up.

DUDE. Seriously. This was SO stinkin’ good. So decadent tasting. The perfect meal for two sick people.

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AND… because we were still feeling sorry for ourselves, we made cookies, the BEST chocolate chip cookies (so the recipe calls them, and who am I to argue?).

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So do we feel better? Ummm… well… we’re both still coughing our heads off, but our bellies are certainly happy. And that is a mighty fine thing.

 

Until next time when we (hopefully)won’t be sick, will take better pictures, and write wittier prose!

 

Later gators!

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