M A Meal for New Parents: Beef-Vegetable Soup with Mushrooms y favorite dish to make for new parents is beef, vegetable soup with mushrooms. New moms can benefit from the high protein and iron in red meat and the nutrient dense broth made from the beef bones. The vegetables supply much-needed iron as well as an array of vitamins. I like mushrooms with beef soup because they add an earthy flavor and they are a good source of protein and other important nutrients, including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin D. This is very healthy and nutrient dense recipe since we are starting with a stock. Stock is generally made with meaty bones, vegetables and water whereas broth is made with meat, vegetables, water and seasoning. Often a chef will start her stock by roasting the bones and vegetables in the oven to impart an even richer depth of flavor. It is a good idea to start the stock a day ahead of when you want to serve the soup. The stock needs to cook a long time and it is very greasy, so I like to refrigerate it and remove the grease before I use it. Then the Soup: Ingredients • • • • • • • • • • • 1 lb beef for stew cut into bite size pieces (I recommend using grass-fed beef) 1 large onion chopped 1 cup canned Italian plum tomatoes drained and chopped 6 cups beef stock 2 cups water 2 stalks celery diced 1 large carrot diced 8 oz cremini mushrooms sliced 1 cup frozen petit peas ½ cup parsley chopped Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Make the stock first: Ingredients • • • • • • • • 3 lbs beef bones with marrow (ask your butcher for this) 1 large onion chopped 1 cup canned Italian plum tomatoes drained and chopped 2 stalks celery chopped 3 large carrots chopped Bay leaf 3 quarts water 2 tablespoons olive oil Directions Brown beef and onions in olive oil, stirring to brown all sides. Stir in the tomatoes and turn to coat onion and beef. Add stock and water and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour or longer until beef is tender. Add vegetables and simmer briskly for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Traditionally barley is served with beef mushroom soup but a good substitute is rice if you are following a glutenfree diet. I like to cook the rice or barley separately and add a small amount to the soup to make it more substantial. Directions Brown beef bones and vegetables in olive oil in a large stock pot for about 10 minutes stirring frequently. Stir in the tomatoes and turn to coat onion and beef. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and allow to simmer for 3 – 4 hours. Allow to cool completely. Remove bones. Strain solids from liquid and discard solids. Refrigerate stock over night. When ready to use skim thick grease off liquid stock. 2013 • Issue 6 Piedmont Family Magazine 15