Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beef, mushroom, and quinoa soup

I've been on a bit of a soup kick lately. If I'm being truthful, that's an understatement. My name is Abby and I have four types of soup frozen in my deep freeze. Hiiiiiii, Abby.
I don't consider it a problem though. I mean, Winter is well on its way according to my thermometer and the number of layers I have to wear to leave the house lately. And as much as it pains me to say it, there are a few things that are nice about my most loathed season. It's super pretty for the first snow (after that it's all dirty and brown and I'm ready for Spring), I love having the fireplace on in the evenings for that cozy feeling of relaxing before bed (the fireplace use is frowned upon in the Summer months), and cuddling up to a nice piping cup of hot chocolate or bowl of homemade soup is truly one of the most comforting feelings in the world when it's frosty out the window. If you live in a place where you don't experience Winter, I'm mostly jealous of you, but I also feel a teensy bit bad that you don't get the experience of being snowed in and not have to shower for 2 days at a time while scrapbooking your little heart away and drinking spiked apple pie mugs until a nap on the couch is seriously inevitable.
Anywho...back to my soup problem. I don't know what it is about this year, but I've never made more soup in my life. I've always had a couple go-to's that I make a few times each Winter and freeze the rest for later because the batches just can't be small for some reason. Truth be told, a lot of them are better after thawing and reheating, the process melds the flavas even more than simmering all day for some reason.
My mom's chicken noodle soup is my absolute specialty, and I just realized when I was searching to link the recipe here that I haven't posted it yet. Blasphemy. I can't believe one of my most made, most loved, and oldest recipes (I seriously think it was one of the first things I made on my own) hasn't made it here yet. I think I just always assume I have posted it already? Anyway, I'll get on that soon...pinky swear.
Besides Mama K's chicken noodle soup, my most made soups are by far her tortelini soup, and my variation of her chicken noodle using beef, my beef noodle soup. But this year I have stumbled upon a few other amazing soups to slurp that I am head over heels being my Aunt Kris' tomato basil soup and my most favorite soup of all time that I've made at home to this date, the cheesy veggie chowder.
So a couple Saturdays ago (the week before the wedding, as if I had nothing better to do) I decided to fill up my deep freeze with a couple more soups for the winter, like any good food hoarder would do to procrastinate stuff that really needed to be done. I made the staple chicken noodle to get rid of a ton of veggies I had leftover from a party, and decided I would do a beef soup as well, but wanted to sub the noods for some quinoa (my other creepy obsession this year) since I had heard it is just as fabtastic in soups as it is in everything else. Enter the world of beef, mushroom, and quinoa soup and prepare to never want to leave.
1.5 cups uncooked, rinsed quinoa
1 small onion, diced
3 green onions, diced
3 cans mushrooms
1 large beef roast
2 bay leaves
2 large can beef broth, plus an extra one to add after simmering when the quinoa soaks up the liquid
cracked pepper to taste
"Let's get this soup party started" said no one, ever. Except for me, right there. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, slather your beef roast in olive oil as well as a little salt and cracked pepper to taste. Cook your beef roast until done. I went for about 30-40 minutes, and cut into the roast to make sure there was no blood. It doesn't need to be over done, because it will cook more in the soup.
While the roast is baking, bring your 2 large cans of broth to a boil on your stovetop. Add the bay leaves and quinoa to cook, stirring continuously for about 10-15 minutes while boiling. Add the onions and mushrooms and turn the soup down to simmer for another 15 minutes.

Cut your meat into bite sized pieces and add it to the soup as it simmers. I usually let it rest a few minutes after baking, so you don't lose all the wonderous juices, but you can also dump the juices into the soup for more flava if you hate waste. Float your own boat, ya know!?

The soup is done once all ingredients are added and simmered for a while but it honestly only gets better the longer its allowed to stay out and party on the stove. I had two soups partying at once...I'm crazy like that.

Bowl it up and serve! I enjoy buttered bread with soup, rather than crackers. Crackers go with chili but bread goes with soup in my can choose how your world works, but I'm telling you that my world is pretty sweet.

I'm honestly not sure how I came up with this recipe, it all just sounded good together. I almost added more veggies but thought keeping it simple would be best. It turned out very well, Main Man was a fan when I woke him from his nap with a steaming bowl of it. Food in your face the instant you awake from a peaceful slumber = one of the only acceptable reasons to rouse a husband "watching" football on a Saturday afternoon. I win :)

Sidenote: the big gallon sized ice cream containers work perfectly to freeze soups if you have them. Mama K saves them for me from the nursing home she works at when they have ice cream socials, which leads me to feel the need to fill them up with soup to freeze. See, it's not even my fault!

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