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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

It's like white beans and garlic having sex in a rosemary bush

The original recipe for this soup is on page 229 of Depborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, ISBN # 0-7679-0014-6. When heresluck made it, I liked it so much I bought the cookbook. Seriously.

The version I made today went like this:

First, I made the rosemary/garlic olive oil infusion, which involves warming frsh chopped rosemary and sliced garlic in a quarter cup of olive oil until the garlic just starts to get a little color and the kitchen smells so good you start gnawing on your hand. Then I set that aside to cool, and in my not-big-enough-soup-pot, I sauteed one chopped white onion, three peeled and diced carrots, and three diced stalks of celery in olive oil until the onion went translucent and started to color. That's one more carrot and two more celery stalks than the original recipe calls for, but I was making enough to freeze.

Then I added two peeled and chopped parsnips and a sliced leek, because I had them, and hell, parsnips and leeks both belong in soup, right? Once those had sauteed a little, I added fifteen or twenty cloves of chopped garlic (The original recipe says five. FIVE! That's hardly enough garlic to make your hands smell funny. Pshaw. Five.) and a handfull of chopped fresh rosemary. The recipe calls for parsley, which I didn't have, so I used cilantro.

On top of that went two cans of drained white beans--a can of great northern beans and a can of heirloom soldier beans--a palmful of kosher salt (call it a teaspoon and change), a can of peeled tomatoes in tomato puree, and enough water to fill up the pot. Stir and taste.

Cracked black pepper next, and after a bit of simmering I adjusted the seasoning with a bit of onion powder, some more fresh rosemary, some dried rosemary, brown and yellow mustard seeds and a capful of cider vinegar, because the parsnips and cilantro had made things just a touch too sweet.

And soup! Very easy, very yum. Serve over some pasta of your choice (I used multicolored veggie pasta in "fun shapes" because I am whimsical, yes I am) with a drizzle of the rosemary olive oil on top and a few shavings of parmesan. And good bread.


Oh, the inauthetic beef stroganoff? Like this:

Get some beef and cut it up into bite sized bits. It doesn't matter what you use, but any flavorful cut for roast, etc, is good--bottom round works well, and so does sirloin, tri tip, etc. The more tender cuts that they use for the hoity toity versions of beef stroganoff are steaks. Do not braise them. It's a waste.

Cuts for pot roast tend to be a little too tough....

Okay, once you have them cut up, brown them thoroughly, a little at a time, in a heavy bottomed skillet. When they're all browned and set aside, fill the whole damned pan with onions and a little bit of olive oil and sautee those until they are lovely sauteed onions. Put the meat back in, and add lots of sliced garlic and ginger, thyme, a bay leaf, some black pepper, a generous amount of dill, and some sweet basil. You can also use rosemary, marjoram, oregano--whatever you like, but the thyme and the dill are non-negotiable.

(Yes, I know, you're going "Dill on beef? How weeeerd! Hush. It's good.)

Add wine, water, beer, beef stock, or whatever you have on hand to cover everything in the skillet about halfway up. Add a few teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and a quarter-cup or so of red wine vinegar or cider vinegar.  Smush it downa little. Put the cover on, turn it down to simmer. Walk away. Come back every half an hour and poke at it a little. Taste it. Add some more garlic and dill. Taste the stock. Think about it a little and throw in a beef bouillon cube. If you are horrified by the concept of adding a bouillon cube to anything, add some salt instead, but it won't be as good, I promise.

When the meat is falling apart and most of the liquid has cooked off, throw in some mushrooms (Canned or fresh; it matters not). If you have fresh dill, add it now. If not, add some more dried dill. And now--here's the secret--add a little more vinegar. Seriously. It's supposed to be a touch on the sour side; the vinegar and the dill keep the sour cream from becoming cloying and drowning the flavors of the food.

Sour cream? Right. That's the last step. After you pull it off the heat, glop some sour cream in there and stir it in. Not a ton--not the whole container--but a couple of healthy spoonfulls, enough to make the sauce creamy and sort of beige.

And then pile the mess in the skillet on the carbohydrate of your choice and eat it until you cannot eat any more.

There will not be leftovers.

I promise you.


Did you hear that sound?? That was my tummy cussing you out for posting this an hour before her lunchtime.

*bats eyelashes*
It's like white beans and garlic having sex in a rosemary bush

Oh, sweet jesus, now I want some.
That soup is sooooooooo good.

I now have four pints in the freezer (and three pints of beef stroganoff). COme on over!
Come to my house and feed me. Right now.

If you do the dishes!
[ (Yes, I know, you're going "Dill on beef? How weeeerd! Hush. It's good.) ]

Y'know, my ex made his faux beef stroganoff with dill. It never struck me as something weird. Does that make me weird? o.O;;

(f course, as a result of that, I relate dill to his cooking, and the caterers that the client used in VA to feed the mob on the 7th floor put dill in everything so I was reminded of his cooking a lot.)
Think about it a little and throw in a beef bouillon cube. If you are horrified by the concept of adding a bouillon cube to anything, add some salt instead, but it won't be as good, I promise.

on the other hand, it also won't have MSG in it, which can only be a plus.

World's best garlic butter: carmelized onions and mondo amounts of garlic in butter, such as the pre-mushroom step of veggie stroganoff. Last time I made stroganoff, we had crusty bread sitting around, which I kept dipping in while I waited for the onions to truly carmelize, and it was so good I had to remind myself that it wasn't the end product, just a step on the way.
on the other hand, it also won't have MSG in it, which can only be a plus. this is a point well taken.

ooo. caramelized onions. ooo.
Benas are one of the things I try to always have on hand. I think right now i have black-eyed peas, red, white, and pink kidney beans, refried beans, Great Northerns, soldier beans, Boston baked beans (which are, I believe, Navy beans), and pinto beans in my cupboard....

My family's faux stroganoff was served sans sour cream, but with a big vat of it on the side, thus allowing each family member to add as much sour cream to their dinner as they liked. (This ranged from Dad's mostly-sour-cream to my almost-none, being lactose-intolerant.)

I can abide with the dill, but no paprika? I used to think there was a law, or at least a moral, preventing Germanic food from not having paprika in it.

For liquids, beer isn't bad either. or malt vinegar. If you add (some of) the beef stock later in the process, you get more good beefy flavor and might be able to dispense with the bouillon, if you really want. And surely someone makes MSG-free bouillon by now?

You can even do this with hamburger, if you are poor or trying to get rid of too much hamburger. It's naturally not as good, but as 'things to do with hamburger' go it's quite tolerable.
I've done the hamburger thing as well, although it actually is usually more expensive thana cheap cut of not-ground beef, I find.

No paprika because stroganoff isn't faux-Germanic (or faux-Hungarian, for that matter) but faux-Russian. *g* WHich is why it amuses me so much that it's the Irish/Swedish side of my family that makes stroganoff, and not the Ukrainian side.
Dude. I am drooling just reading this. I miss your cooking, my dear! *droooool*
You're not the only one.

Come back to us, eBear! We need you close enough so we can run over for dinner after a post like that.

My stroganoff is so inauthentic it doesn't have those icky mushrooms.

And you cook like me, the recipe as rough guide method.
But the mushrooms are the best part!
{cries and slinks off to eat a raw Pop Tart}
The stroganoff sounded so good I had to try it. My whole place still smells like wine and garlic and beef, even though I cooked it yesterday. Best aroma in the world, mmm. And the taste was delish. I would never have thought to try the dill; it was perfect.

I'm glad it worked for you....
The description of That Soup has been nagging at me since you posted this; last weekend, I looked at a big bag of (locally grown) dried white beans and scurried over here to recheck your entry so I could recreate it from scratch. With even more garlic and rosemary than you used, because I'm all about excess. (-:


I've blogged about it here, with a link to your post and some musing about the travails of trying to eat locally during the winter. And I'll be having another bowl of the soup for lunch.

Better than chocolate, isn't it?