Note that this is a guest post written by my seriously awesome foodie friend Darryl. Enjoy!
If you’re sick, the go-to soup always seems to be chicken noodle. But, what happens when you are sick and tired…and sick and tired of chicken noodle soup? That’s the dilemma I found myself in today. My husband and I both have some kind of late-winter/early-spring crud. Soup sounds great, but I have been making chicken noodle all winter. Frankly, the thought of it makes me gag at this point. It is going to do nothing to help me feel better. Fortunately, my husband dredged up an alternative that would appease both of us…beef noodle soup.
This soup is killer! It has everything you’d want from your standard chicken noodle, but with wonderfully different flavor palate. I came up with this soup several months ago. Soup is one of my absolute favorite things to make. My husband and I both love French onion soup, but it doesn’t really work for a meal. It’s too rich and not that filling. I wanted something that had a similar flavor profile, but was hearty enough to subsist as a meal. I took what I knew about making soups that I love (chicken noodle, Italian wedding, French onion, and vegetable beef), and melded some of the components from each of them. Miraculously, I came up with this. It was an instant hit in our house! There is rarely an occasion where there is enough to share with my dad, even when I make a double batch.
When making this soup, there are a few essential elements that make it what it is:
- First, take the time to caramelize the onions. The darker they are, the richer your soup will taste. I like to try to get mine to the color of a penny. This will easily take 15 minutes, but it is a great time to slice the other vegetables and cube the meat.
- Next, don’t omit the mushrooms. I can’t stand the feel of mushrooms in my mouth, but they have a flavor that can’t be replaced. I left them out one time, and the soup wasn’t the same. If you are like me, chop them up as small as possible. When the soup is fully cooked, you will not notice them other than the richness they add to the broth.
- Finally, speaking of broth, I will happily admit that I cheat when it comes to broth. If I have homemade bone broth in the freezer, I will use it. However, at this point in the year, my stash has been depleted. As a general rule, I do not like using packaged or processed foods when I cook, but I break that rule when it comes to soup base. I like it better than store-bought broth in a can or box. It allows me to adjust the flavor as needed. If you have homemade beef broth that you like, by all means use it by swapping out the same amount of broth for the water and omitting the beef base. If you do choose to go the soup base route, my favorite is the Better Than Bullion brand. I can pronounce most of the ingredients, and it does not contain gluten or MSG.
*If you are gluten free or are limiting your gluten intake, consider swapping out the noodles for barley or rice.*
Beef Noodle SoupPrint Recipe
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 small onions sliced pole to pole
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1- 1 1/2 lbs. chuck roast, 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 quarts water
- 1/2-3.5 ounce jar Better Than Bouillon, beef base
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 16 oz. bag of Amish wide egg noodles (regular wide egg noodles will work too)
- Fresh parsley
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, and sugar. Cook over medium heat until the onions begin to caramelize, about 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the sherry and stir, scraping up any browned bits of onion, as you deglaze the pan.
Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies soften. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (30 seconds).
Remove the veggies from the pot and set aside.
Brown the beef in the pot. Once lightly browned on all sides, return the vegetables to the pot. Add the remaining sherry and the soy sauce to the meat and vegetables and stir.
Add the water, bullion, thyme, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to boil then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1-4 hours. The longer the simmer, the stronger the flavor.
After simmering, remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, add the noodles, and cook until the noodles are of the desired texture.
Finish with the fresh chopped parsley.
If you're not feeling fantastic from a head cold, this soup is awesome to make. The sliced onions and steam from the cooking vegetables and soup will help temporarily clear your sinuses. When it's finished, it feels amazing on your throat and leaves you feeling full and satisfied, even when you don't have much of an appetite. Just be sure to wash your hands while your cooking! 😉 If you are gluten free or are limiting your gluten intake, consider swapping out the noodles for barley or rice.
Enjoy (and feel better)!
I’m always looking for new soup ideas…What is your go to, feel better soup? Please share. Thanks!