BEEF AND BEAN SOUP

YES, IT DOES GET COLD IN CALIFORNIA.  ON THESE CHILLY FEBRUARY NIGHTS, NOTHING IS MORE COMFORTING THAN A BOWL OF HOT SOUP, A CRUSTY BAGUETTE AND A SIMPLE GREEN SALAD.  THIS WINTER SOUP IS FLAVORED WITH BEEF CHUCK, AROMATIC VEGETABLES, AND PARMESAN RINDS.  IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY PARMESAN RINDS HANGING AROUND, THIS SOUP WILL STILL TASTE DELICIOUS, BUT GET IN THE HABIT OF SAVING THEM. WHEN COOKED THE ROCK-HARD RINDS MELT TO A CHEWY SOFTNESS.  THERE WERE TINY WHITE TURNIPS WITH GREENS ATTACHED IN THE MARKET, BUT YOU CAN SUBSTITUTE CARROTS, RUTABAGAS, PARSNIPS, BABY ONIONS, OR ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE.  TO GIVE THE SOUP BODY AND ANOTHER TEXTURE, I ADDED WHITE BEANS.  THE TURNIP GREENS WERE STIRRED IN LAST, SO THEY RETAINED THEIR COLOR.  KALE, SPINACH OR MUSTARD GREENS WILL DO NICELY, PARTICULARLY MUSTARD GREENS, WHICH WILL LEND YOUR SOUP A PEPPERY ZEST.  

 2 lbs BEEF CHUCK CUT INTO 1-INCH CUBES
 1 LARGE RED ONION
 3 LARGE CARROTS
 1 WHOLE HEAD OF GARLIC
 1 cup CANNED WHOLE TOMATOES
 1 BOUQUET GARNIE (THYME, BAY LEAF, PARSLEY STEMS)
 1 cup CANNELINI BEANS OR FLAGOLET BEANS
 PARMESAN RINDS
 12 BABY WHITE TURNIPS
 TURNIP, KALE, MUSTARD, OR SPINACH GREENS

1

HEAT 1/3 CUP OF OLIVE OIL IN A LARGE DUTCH OVEN.

MEANWHILE, DRY BEEF CUBES, SALT AND PEPPER.

WHEN THE OIL IS SMOKING, ADD THE BEEF CUBES. DON'T CROWD THE POT. BROWN ON ALL SIDES AND REMOVE.

MEANWHILE, PEEL AND DICE THE ONION. TRIM, PEEL AND DICE THE CARROTS.

POUR MOST OF THE FAT FROM THE POT, RETURN TO THE STOVE, ADD 3 TBSPS OF BUTTER.

ADD THE VEGETABLES. REDUCE HEAT TO LOW AND COVER. SWEAT VEGETABLES FOR A FEW MINUTES.

RETURN THE MEAT TO THE POT. FILL WITH COLD WATER. RAISE HEAT.

CRUSH THE TOMATOES IN YOUR HANDS AND ADD TO THE POT.

TIE TOGETHER 4 THYME SPRIGS, 12 PARSLEY STEMS AND 2 BAY LEAVES WITH A STRING. ADD TO THE POT.

SLICE THE TOP OFF THE STEM END OF THE GARLIC HEAD AND TOSS IN THE POT.

ADD THE PARMESAN RINDS.

BRING TO A BOIL, REDUCE TO A SIMMER AND COOK, PARTIALLY COVERED FOR ABOUT AN HOUR.

ADD A CUP OF DRIED BEANS. COVER POT AND CONTINUE TO SIMMER FOR ANOTHER 45 MINUTES.

MEANWHILE, TRIM TURNIPS, LEAVING A STUB OF GREEN. ADD TURNIPS TO THE POT.

WHEN THE TURNIPS ARE TENDER, ADD THE GREENS AND COOK TILL THEY ARE TENDER BUT STILL RETAIN THEIR COLOR. COOKING TIME WILL VARY DEPENDING OF WHICH GREEN YOU ARE USING.

BEFORE SERVING, FISH OUT THE GARLIC HEAD. SQUEEZE OUT THE CLOVES AND SERVE THEM ALONG WITH THE BREAD. DISCARD BOUQUET GARNIE.

GARNISH THE SOUP WITH FRESHLY-CHOPPED PARSLEY.

SERVES 8

Ingredients

 2 lbs BEEF CHUCK CUT INTO 1-INCH CUBES
 1 LARGE RED ONION
 3 LARGE CARROTS
 1 WHOLE HEAD OF GARLIC
 1 cup CANNED WHOLE TOMATOES
 1 BOUQUET GARNIE (THYME, BAY LEAF, PARSLEY STEMS)
 1 cup CANNELINI BEANS OR FLAGOLET BEANS
 PARMESAN RINDS
 12 BABY WHITE TURNIPS
 TURNIP, KALE, MUSTARD, OR SPINACH GREENS

Directions

1

HEAT 1/3 CUP OF OLIVE OIL IN A LARGE DUTCH OVEN.

MEANWHILE, DRY BEEF CUBES, SALT AND PEPPER.

WHEN THE OIL IS SMOKING, ADD THE BEEF CUBES. DON'T CROWD THE POT. BROWN ON ALL SIDES AND REMOVE.

MEANWHILE, PEEL AND DICE THE ONION. TRIM, PEEL AND DICE THE CARROTS.

POUR MOST OF THE FAT FROM THE POT, RETURN TO THE STOVE, ADD 3 TBSPS OF BUTTER.

ADD THE VEGETABLES. REDUCE HEAT TO LOW AND COVER. SWEAT VEGETABLES FOR A FEW MINUTES.

RETURN THE MEAT TO THE POT. FILL WITH COLD WATER. RAISE HEAT.

CRUSH THE TOMATOES IN YOUR HANDS AND ADD TO THE POT.

TIE TOGETHER 4 THYME SPRIGS, 12 PARSLEY STEMS AND 2 BAY LEAVES WITH A STRING. ADD TO THE POT.

SLICE THE TOP OFF THE STEM END OF THE GARLIC HEAD AND TOSS IN THE POT.

ADD THE PARMESAN RINDS.

BRING TO A BOIL, REDUCE TO A SIMMER AND COOK, PARTIALLY COVERED FOR ABOUT AN HOUR.

ADD A CUP OF DRIED BEANS. COVER POT AND CONTINUE TO SIMMER FOR ANOTHER 45 MINUTES.

MEANWHILE, TRIM TURNIPS, LEAVING A STUB OF GREEN. ADD TURNIPS TO THE POT.

WHEN THE TURNIPS ARE TENDER, ADD THE GREENS AND COOK TILL THEY ARE TENDER BUT STILL RETAIN THEIR COLOR. COOKING TIME WILL VARY DEPENDING OF WHICH GREEN YOU ARE USING.

BEFORE SERVING, FISH OUT THE GARLIC HEAD. SQUEEZE OUT THE CLOVES AND SERVE THEM ALONG WITH THE BREAD. DISCARD BOUQUET GARNIE.

GARNISH THE SOUP WITH FRESHLY-CHOPPED PARSLEY.

SERVES 8

BEEF AND BEAN SOUP
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