Beef Lentil Soup
When I was told my folate level was low I made a visit to the dietitian to see what advice she had and she printed me the list of Food Sources of Folate from the Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/B-Vitamins.aspx?categoryID=3n. I looked it over to see where I could bump up my intake. I noticed spinach was a good source and assumed kale had a similar vitamin profile so thought I would keep hiding it anywhere I could (soups and stews and salads). She also mentioned that beans and lentils were a good source. It just happened I had put on a soup bone for some beef soup that morning and I was wondering what might be a good gluten-free substitute for the barley and now I had the perfect solution – lentils. The soup made a delicious vehicle to add some folate rich lentils and greens.
For me this is a two day process – the first day leaving the soup bone on in the slow cooker and the next day putting together the soup but you could finish the soup at night and still have it for dinner. It is definitely hearty enough for an evening meal but it is also a great boost at midday if you freeze it in lunch size containers. Soup is my solution to a gluten-free lunch since I often feel I need more than a salad to get me through the day.
If you can find a source of nice meaty beef bones and you own a slow cooker you will never want to use dry bouillon mix again. The ingredients below are the basics, but feel free to use almost any vegetables or herb you like. Just a little advice that I learned the hard way. Avoid vegetables with really strong tastes like broccoli and cauliflower. At times I like to add cabbage, kale and turnip, but not so much that it overpowers the other flavours.
12 – 14 cups water
2 lb soup bone or pot roast with bone in or stewing beef
1 large onion or several small ones, peeled
1 rib celery with leaves
1 parsnip, cut in chunks
1 carrot, cut in chunks
1 – 2 tomatoes, cut in quarters
1 tsp salt
1 whole hot pepper or 5 whole peppercorns
1 clove garlic
2 bay leaves
a handful of kale ribs (use the leaves for salad) if you have them
Any other vegetable, avoid strongly flavoured ones
- Put everything together in slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours or let cook on low all day or overnight.
- If simmering on top of stove brown beef before adding water and simmer 2 – 3 hours.
- Strain stock and remove meat from soup bone when it cools enough.
- Add meat back to stock and discard bones and cooked vegetables.
- Refrigerate stock and discard fat from top of container before reheating.
- You may save some of the fat for “sweating” the vegetables in your soups.
Beef Lentil Soup
On a stormy winter day this is a very welcoming smell to come home to. It definitely is a meal in itself but even better with some biscuits or toast..
Beef Stock with meat (recipe above)
1/2 – 1 cup lentils, I use green
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 cup rutabaga, cubed
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes or 3 cups tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups corn kernels
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup kale leaves and stems, chopped
1 Tbsp parsley
- Prepare beef stock as per recipe adding meat to stock.
- Simmer lentils with beef stock while you prepare the remaining vegetables.
- Cook onion with olive oil in large stock pot until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add celery, carrots and garlic and continue cooking on low for another 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add potato, rutabaga, stock and meat and cook 20 minutes until lentils are soft.
- Stir in tomatoes, corn, parsley, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.