Happy Holidays from our Starky Family to yours! We’re sharing a great old family recipe with you today that Mom always makes the day after our big Holiday Feast. The recipe is pretty old and has southern roots from our dear neighbor Theresa Hadley. It differs from a “stew” as the vegetables and beef are chopped into smaller pieces which gives the soup a hearty and silky texture. We’ve revamped the flavors and cooking methods in the test kitchen this week and have taken out the gluten, heavy fats, and dairy so all of your guests will be able to enjoy this lovely, hearty soup. Advanced preparation makes it easy to create and stow in the freezer if you are the organized type. Paired with a chewy loaf of bread or a salad of winter greens, pears and walnuts, we know you will enjoy this recipe as we have for years!
MOM’S STEAK SOUP
2 pounds mushrooms, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup parsnip, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 medium leek, washed and chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
Prep and chop all of your vegetables and aromatics and have them standing by.
2 pounds of round steak, cut into bite size chunks
2 tablespoons corn starch
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Toss the steak cubes with salt, pepper and cornstarch. Heat a soup pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the steak cubes. Do not stir or disturb them for a few minutes, you want each cubes to brown and caramelize before flipping over. Once the steak is browned nicely, remove the steak to a small bowl. Add just the mushrooms to the pan and let them cook until they release their liquid and start to brown, stirring only occasionally. Once mushrooms are browned, add the chopped vegetables and aromatics. Turn heat to low and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until vegetables are softened.
1 cup Sherry or Red Wine to deglaze the pan
20 oz Tomato Puree or Diced Tomatoes, which ever you prefer
32 oz Beef Stock
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
Once the vegetables are cooked, turn heat up to medium. Add the Sherry and let it bubble up. With a metal spoon, loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. This method of deglazing releases a lot of flavor up into the soup. Add the Tomato puree and cook until it bubbles. Add the stock and cook until it bubbles. Return the beef cubes to the pan, turn the heat to very low, cover and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. You can also pop the soup pot in the oven at 300 for 2 hours if your soup pot is oven proof if you need the stove top burners.
To finish the soup:
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups Cashew Cream (recipe to follow) or Heavy Cream (if you don’t need soup to be dairy free)
2 Tablespoons mixed green herb such as thyme, rosemary, basil, and parsley or 2 Teaspoons of dried mixed herbs
Optional: Blanched Green Beans or Green Peas
After 2 hours, check the meat for tenderness. If it is still a little tough, continue cooking for another 30 minutes. Add Worcestershire Sauce, Cashew Cream or Heavy Cream, and Herbs. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper. If you like your food spicy, add a teaspoon of red pepper sauce or a few dashes of cayenne pepper. Toss in some green vegetables if you like. Serve the soup hot with bread & salad or prepare the soup in advance and stow in the freezer for up to 1 month. (If using heavy cream and planning to freeze the soup, wait to add the cream until you have defrosted the soup so there is no chance of it curdling!)
This is a great little secret recipe for those who steer clear of dairy products. The consistency can be controlled by the water you add to mimic sour cream, cream or even cream cheese. We use this as a base for dairy free dips & spreads.
2 cups of raw cashew pieces, unsalted
3 dried mushrooms-optional but gives great flavor & depth
Boiling water to cover
Place the cashews and dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow the liquid to come to room temperature and then store in the frig overnight. Drain and reserve the liquid. Add the soaked cashews to a food processor and whirl until smooth and creamy, adding liquid to your desire consistency. We used this in our “Green Bean Casserole” at Thanksgiving instead of mushroom soup or bechamel sauce and it was a hit!
We hope you truly enjoy your time with friends & family and soak in the spirit of the Holidays! Please visit us downtown to celebrate this remarkable season with lunch, happy hour or dinner. Remember to make your NEW YEAR’S EVE RESERVATIONS @STARKY’S SOON!