“Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.” -Bob Marley
Don’t you just love Bob? Marley that is. I love him. I especially love Three Little Birds. Hence the play on words of the title. Anyhow…the other day, I was off work and wanted to make some soups. It’s getting colder here in the lovely state of Ohio and when it gets cold, I eat soup. Gallons and gallons of it.
I was flipping through my various magazines when I came across three little soups I wanted to try: Beef Pho, Vegetable Ravioli, and…wait for it…Albondigas! Don’t you just love that word? Albondigas! (When I say it, I imagine I’m a little Mexican man with a sombrero and maracas! Ha…just kidding.)
These soups were relatively easy and used ingredients that, for the most part, I already had on hand! Try them and let me know what you think.
(From the November 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine)
2 beef shanks with meat on them (about 2 1/4 pounds total)
3 large yellow onions, halved
1 6-inch piece of ginger, halved lengthwise
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise pods
3 tbsp black peppercorns
3 quarts low sodium beef broth
1/3 cup fish sauce
1 pound flat rice noodles
Optional additions: bean sprouts, Thai basil or mint, jalapenos thinly sliced, red onion thinly sliced, Hoisin sauce or Sriracha
Put the beef, onions, ginger, garlic and oil in a pan. Sprinkle with salt and toss. Bake at 450º for about 30 minutes, turning beef once.
Meanwhile, toast the cinnamon, anise, and peppercorns in a dry pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until fragrance.
After the beef is cooked, transfer the contents of the roasting pan to a large stock pot. Cover with beef broth, two quarts of water, the spices, and the fish sauce. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 1-1 1/2 hours, skimming any fat off the top.
Remove beef and shred. Strain the rest of the broth through a strainer and then return to pan. Add beef back to broth. Cook the noodles according to package directions and add to broth. Garnish with any of the above toppings.
(From the September 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine)
1 tbsp EVOO
1 small onion, diced
3 medium carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 cups low sodium beef broth
1 9-ounce package cheese tortellini
a couple big handfuls baby spinach
salt & pepper
Parmesan cheese, optional
Whole Wheat baguette, optional
In a large pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil and cook the onion, carrots, celery, and thyme, stirring occasionally. When the vegetables begin to soften add the broth and 3 cups water and increase heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil, then add the tortellini. Reduce heat and simmer until tortellini is cooked through (see package directions for time). Add spinach to soup and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. When serving, you can top with Parmesan cheese and bread if desired.
Because this post is so long and because the final soup is two recipes in itself and because (let’s be honest) I’ll be late for work if I don’t quit typing now, I am going to save the last recipe for the next blog post. Check back soon! You won’t be sorry.