Fall is in the air and before long snow will be falling. There is nothing I like more on a cold day than a nice, hot bowl of soup or stew. It warms the soul as well as the body. Two of my favorites are Basic Beef Stew and Bacon Bean Soup. Both are easy and fast to prepare with basic ingredients and neither require much skill other than opening a can or slicing a potato. Here are the recipes for both.
Basic Beef Stew
2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon flour
2 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 pound stew meat cubes
4 to 6 red potatoes depending on size cut into spoon size cubes
1 to 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
1 to 2 Bay leaves
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ to 1 Cup frozen whole kernel corn
½ to 1 Cup frozen cut green beans
3 Cups beef broth
1 Cup water
In bottom of large pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Dust the meat with the flour and add to the pot. Allow meat to brown, stirring now and then until pink is almost gone. Add the soy sauce and the garlic. Stir. Turn heat down to low and add the potatoes, and the bay leaf. Stir. Allow to cook over low heat for a few minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add the dried onion, the beef broth and the water. Add salt and pepper. Stir. Bring heat up to high, cover and allow to simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt if needed. Fish out and remove the Bay leaf, this is easiest done with tongs.
This stew is delicious with hot rolls or bread sticks. If desired you can add other vegetables to the pot such as carrots, tomatoes or peas. This recipe will serve 4 to 6 people.
Another one of my favorite cold weather recipes which is comforting and filling is Bacon Bean Soup. This dish is even easier to make then Basic Beef Stew. By using canned beans you cut preparation time by hours. Serve it hot along with a small green salad and you have the perfect meal to enjoy in front of a crackling fire. This is a quick and easy soup that tastes great. It serves 2- 4 people, just double the recipe if you need to serve more or make a big pot and freeze it…it freezes well.
Bacon Bean Soup
4 slices bacon, diced
½ Cup chopped onion
1 (16 ounce) can navy beans, do not drain
1 (15 ounce) can chicken broth
¼ teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon flour
In bottom of large pot sauté bacon until browned, add onion the last few minutes of cook time, remove bacon and onion with slotted spoon and set aside. Add olive oil to bacon fat and sprinkle flour over and blend, add about half of the broth and whisk until thickened then add rest of broth, beans, all spices and bacon. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
I hope you will try both these recipes. I think you will find them warm, comforting and delicious!