Over the weekend I had seen some talk on Twitter about making homemade beef stock. That got me in the mood for a beefy soup. Perusing through recipe books, I started to think: why not a beef and noodle soup instead of chicken noodle? I found one in The New Best Recipe book, by Cook’s Illustrated. That book has become one of my go-to books when I’m looking for a recipe. I know they’ve tested the recipe dozens of times over and I love reading the explanations that go along with each recipe about how they came to the conclusion of why this method or that ingredient is best. I can always adapt it to my taste if need be.
I didn’t have the ingredients to make my own stock as the recipe suggested, nor was I in the mood to run to the store just for that (after spending a better part of the week ill and taking care of ill children), so I simplified and used what I had on hand. If I am using a beef soup base rather than a homemade stock or purchased broth, I prefer Better Than Bouillon beef base. The first ingredient listed is beef, so I know it has great flavor and isn’t just a salty broth. For purchased broth, I prefer Pacific Natural Foods.
I was so pleased to make such a yummy soup, all with ingredients I already had on hand. No special trip to the store was required. It was easy, filling (but not heavy), and one of the best parts was that it only used 1 pot. There were also plenty of leftovers, and on busy days like today I’m thankful for them.
Beefy Noodle Soup
adapted from The New Best Recipe
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 3 1/2 c stew beef, cut into bite sized pieces
- 6 c beef broth or 6 c water + 6 Tbs beef soup base
- 2 c water
- 1 – 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 c pearl onions
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
- 2-4 stems of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Approx. 10 oz wide egg noodles, and much or little as you like
Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add beef, salt and pepper. Brown beef on all sides over medium high heat. Remove beef using a slotted spoon and set aside, keeping drippings in the pot. Saute carrot, celery, pearl onions, and shallots for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for one minute more. Add 1 cup water, scraping up all the browned bits from the pan – they have a lot of flavor. Add beef broth and return stew meat and its juices to the pot. Remove thyme leaves from the stem and add to pot along with the bay leaf. Turn heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, or just until vegetables are almost tender, but not quite. Bring soup to a boil. Stir in parsley. Add egg noodles and cook according to the lowest time on the package directions. Serve immediately.
*note: if you will not be eating the entire pot of soup in one night. Set aside the leftovers before adding the noodles, the cook your current nights portion with the noodles per the recipe instruction. Cooking the noodles all at once, then refrigerating the leftovers, and reheating will produce over cooked noodles.