Beef Noodle Soup

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So we're in the middle of winter, February has latched it's frozen little fingers firmly onto everything, and the 'icks' have finally hit. I found myself with a houseful of Precious Darlings, all of whom were positive for strep, and with very little in the way of provisions. Since I also felt bad, I didn't want to manage a trip to the store, but I did very much want my friend Nancy's Beef and Barley Soup - which she used to bring to us when my kiddos were sick, and which is very much associated with comfort for me.

Well - dang. Not only was Nancy not close enough for me to call for backup, I didn't have the ingredients for her RockaMundo soup. Close...and it was that which led me to this one. I have to say - I'm putting this immediately on several recipe lists. Comfort Food, Food for the Sickies - Food for Budgeting Issues, Quick and Easy, Lazy Days... you get the idea. This one takes a few minutes of chopping - that's it. The rest is just dump and simmer - and the result is everything you want. Delicious, light and rich both - hearty and comforting. Try this one soon - you'll think I'm a genius.

The Recipe!

 You'll Need:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 small or 1 large stalk of celery, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • About two quarts of stock - any kind, chicken, beef or veggie (I use half chicken and half beef ideally)
  • *bouillion cubes - optional - and only to 'bolster' the flavor if you want (about four)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage leaves
  • 2 cups uncooked egg noodles

1. In a medium Dutch oven, brown ground beef. Drain any excess fat and return the pot to the heat.

2. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Saute for about five minutes, or until veggies begin to become fragrant.

3. Add broth to the pot. Now - one thing! If you need more broth - no problem using a few beef bouillon cubes to enhance the flavor. But do NOT use it as the only broth! It's fine to 'help' a homemade or even canned broth or stock - but otherwise the taste is salty and artificial. I use a few cubes in a pot of soup - and love the results. But more than a few and it gets to tasting like something icky and out of a can. So be careful.

4. Add bay leaves and rosemary.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and simmer about 15 minutes, or until veggies are crisp-tender.

5. Increase heat to a boil, add cabbage and egg noodles. Boil for 7-8 minutes until cabbage is crisp tender and the noodles are al-dente. Sprinkle with parsley if you wish (and aren't sick!), and serve.

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