What’s the perfect meal to accompany tree trimming and to serve as the test subject of a new 50mm f/1.8 camera lens? Beef minestrone soup, of course.
Smell the savory scent of stewed beef and vegetables while hanging ornaments and sipping White Russians. And snap photos of a colorful ladle of steaming goodness. Then enjoy spoonfuls by the side of a loved one in the glow of your Christmas tree.
(Note: Several ingredients are Wegmans brand, and so I included substitutions if you don’t have a store near you. Also, you can prepare this soup in a slow cooker rather than a French oven. Increase the cooking time to 4.5-6 hours on high, or 8-10 hours on low.)
- 1 pkg (about 1.5 lbs) boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- pan searing flour (substitute: Wondra flour)
- 2 Tbsp EVOO
- 1 pkg (16 oz) cleaned and cut Minestrone soup vegetables (substitute: potatoes, zucchini, leeks, carrots, celery, onions, and cabbage)
- salt and pepper
- 1 carton (32 oz) beef stock (substitute: broth)
- 1 can (14.5 oz) Italian-style diced tomatoes
- 1 pkg (24 oz) seasoned tomato sauce (substitute: 2 cans tomato sauce plus Italian seasonings)
- 1/2 cup dry Ditalini soup pasta
- 1 can (15.5 oz) Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 pkg (6 oz) baby spinach
- Dust beef with pan searing flour, pat off excess.
- Heat EVOO in a French oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and sear 10 minutes, or until meat is light brown.
- Remove beef from French oven, leaving drippings. Add vegetables, season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes.
- Add beef to vegetables. Add stock, tomatoes, and sauce. Cover, cook 1 hour.
- Add dry pasta and beans, cook 30 minutes
- Add spinach, stir to blend. Cook 5 minutes.
- Serve with crusty, garlicky bread, and enjoy by the light of your Christmas tree.
(adapted from Wegmans magazine)