It’s a holiday tradition in our house.
Being from Kansas City, there are a few things you know really well….weird weather and really good beef.
There is a restaurant on the Plaza in Kansas City called the Plaza III that serves (or at least they used to) amazing steak soup. I’m not sure where he got the recipe, but my dad begin making this steak soup every year for Christmas Eve.
It’s hearty and delicious but very easy to make.
Here’s what you need:
2 pounds lean ground beef (steak), diced tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, frozen mixed vegetables, butter, flour, beef bouillon cubes, Kitchen Bouquet Seasoning Sauce, Water (not pictured), Salt & Pepper.
Begin by browning the beef in a big pot.
Whoa! Totally steam up your lens.
You will need to do this in at least 2 batches so that you don’t crowd the pan. If you get too much meet in there, it will steam rather than brown.
We want all those delicious brown bits of flavor in our soup.
When each batch meat has browned, set it aside on a paper towel to absorb any remaining grease.
Melt 1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) of butter in your pan of nice brown bits. As the butter melts, use a wooden spoon to scrape up the tasty goodness in the bottom of the pan.
Add 1/2 cup Flour to make a roux to thicken the soup. Stir the flour into the butter until you have a nice pasty texture.
Grab a big measuring cup or something with a spout for easy pouring and fill it with 8 cups of hot water. Slowly pour the water into the flour mixture stirring thoroughly to remove any lumps.
As the water mixes in with the roux, continue to add more water and keep stirring. You might find it easier to switch to a whisk to remove all of the lumps.
Notice all the tasty bits of browned meat coming up from the bottom of the pan. Tasty!
When all 8 cups of water have been whisked into the flour, you will have a pan of white, gravy-like liquid. Add the meat back to the pot.
Time to add some flavor!
Chop up 1 large onion
Add it to the pot with the beef.
Peel and chop carrots
And a few stalks of celery
And add them to the pot
Since this is a fairly easy soup to make, and we’re not going to spend an entire day boiling down beef bones for stock, we need to add some additional beefy flavor. Add 2 beef bouillon cubes to the pot.
Add 1 big (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes and all their juices.
And for even more flavor and some nice beefy color, we will use Kitchen Bouquet Browning & Seasoning Sauce.
Just a note – I usually try not to include ingredients that you’ll have languishing in your cabinet never to use them again and in all honesty, I don’t use this for too many other recipes. However, it is an ESSENTIAL ingredient in this soup. I’ve tried to leave it out only to go running to the store at the last minute. It has a variety of vegetables (carrots, celery, onion, turnips, parsnips) all cooked and distilled down into a super concentrated magic brown sauce. You can find it in most stores in the section near the BBQ sauces, mustards and marinades.
A little Kitchen Bouquet goes a long way. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons to your pot of soup and watch as it magically turns a lovely beefy brown color.
Add some salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
Give it all a stir, bring it up to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and let the soup simmer with a lid on for at least an hour. The longer this cooks, the better…and it’s even BETTER the next day.
After an hour of simmering, add 2 cups (1 – 16 ounce bag) of frozen mixed vegetables. This gives you more carrots and also adds some peas, corn and beans.
Put the lid back on and continue to simmer (gently bubbling not a roaring boil) for at least 1 more hour.
My soup cooked for about 3 hours and it was delicious!
Just like Dad makes!
AND it goes really well with warm, crusty bread.
Here’s the recipe!