Thursday, September 29, 2011

Delicious Soup I Made for My Sick only 40 minutes!

As everyone knows, Hubs and I contracted a humdinger of a stomach bug while we were at the Mother Earth News Fair this past weekend.  I'm not blaming the fair, by any means, it could just be that we got it from touching a dirty doorknob or something.  I had a much lighter case of it than Hubs did--he actually was thisclose from being hospitalized!  Two bags of saline and some anti-nausea medication and he was almost back to 100%.  He still wasn't feeling that great last night and the doctor said that due to some blood loss from the diarrhea, he should stick to soups and liquids, preferably beef-based soups to help him build back up his iron levels, due to the anemia.  So, you know me, I had to go all out and create a tasty soup for my invalid Hubs.  A little research on the internet and a little perusing through my personal recipes, and I came up with this delicious soup which made a full, satisfying meal for the rest of the family, and a delicious broth for my Hubs.  In the end, everyone was happy!

Beef and Noodle Soup
1 lb. stew beef, cubed into 1" squares
1/2 lb. Ditalini pasta (the little pasta you see in Olive Garden's pasta fagioli)
3 carrots, scraped and cut into 1/4" rounds
2 stalks of celery, cut into 1/4" squares
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (divided)
8 C. beef stock, divided in half
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. Penzey's Northwoods seasoning


I used my pressure cooker for this recipe and the result is some really tender, tender beef.  You could use a slow cooker or just put it in a pot on the stove, but it takes sooooo much longer and I find the beef isn't as tender.  When you cook meat in a pressure cooker, you don't even need a knife to cook it, it's that tender.  If you want to do the recipe in a pot or slow cooker, just throw all of the ingredients at one time (except for the pasta--add that in during the last 30 minutes or so) and simmer for about 4-6 hours or until the beef is tender. 

Place beef, all vegetables, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, and other spices, and 4 C. of beef stock in your pressure cooker.  Check to make sure gasket is intact and vents are clear.  Place lid on cooker, close securely and put on high heat on your stove.  When jigger starts jiggling or starts releasing steam, turn heat down just a bit so the steam isn't constantly pouring out of the vents.  (about 1/4 of the way down from high on my electric stove)  Set your timer for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, take your pressure cooker and run it under cold water in the sink for about 5 minutes or until you can open the cooker.

Put cooker back on the stove burner without lid, add the other 4 C. of beef stock and bring to a boil.  Once soup is boiling, add pasta.  Cook until pasta is al dente.  Pick out bay leaves before serving.  Serve soup with a nice crusty bread.  Use a strainer to strain out veggies and to create a hearty broth for sick folks.  Even more delicious the next day--I'm having it for lunch later today!  Enjoy!

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