Monday, January 5, 2009
One of my favorite things to make this season is soup in the crockpot. I love its warmth and the smells that carry throughout my house, making me hungry pretty much all day long. Everytime you leave and come back in the house, that wonderful smell is waiting for you and making you anticipate dinner all that much more. This soup is no exception. Peppered Beef Soup is hearty and has a wonderful mixture of flavors, thanks in part to the beer and the balsamic vinegar. It's a real crowd pleaser.
I really love ordering soup at a restaurant and having it served up in a bread bowl. Not only is it visually appealing, but the bread is so delicious with the flavors of the soup soaked into it. This bread bowl recipe is extremely easy and is great for company. You can use the inside centers to make croutons, or toast them and serve them alongside soup.
Peppered Beef Soup
(adapted from Southern Living)
1 (4-lb.) sirloin tip beef roast
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
16 oz. package baby carrots
12 oz. bottle lager beer
10.5 oz. can beef broth
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1 Tbsp. beef bouillon cubes
1 and 1/2 to 3 tsp. freshly ground pepper, depending on how "peppery" you want it
4 bay leaves
salt to taste
1. Rinse roast, and pat dry. Cut a 1-inch-deep cavity in the shape of an "X" on top of roast (do not cut all the way through roast). Dredge roast in all-purpose flour; shake off excess.
2. Cook roast in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
3. Place roast in a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Stuff cavity with sliced red onion and minced garlic; top roast with potatoes and baby carrots. Pour beer, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce into slow cooker. Sprinkle with parsley, bouillon, and ground pepper. Add bay leaves to liquid in slow cooker.
4. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or until tender. Shred roast using two forks. Season with salt to taste.
Makes 12 cups
Toasted Bread Bowls
6 (5- to 6-inch) artisan bread rounds
vegetable cooking spray
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut 1/2 to 1 and 1/2 inches from top of each bread round; scoop out center, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell. Reserve soft centers for another use. Lightly coat bread shells and, if desired, cut sides of tops, with cooking spray. Place cut sides up on baking sheets. Sprinkle with cheese.
2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted.
Makes 6 bread bowls.