Soup Recipes: Warm up with these soups, stews, chowders, and chilis

Winter has arrived in earnest; it's the long, bitter, double-up-on-socks cold of January and February. These are the months for soup, and Stir It Up! has the perfect collection of soup, stew, chowder, and chili recipes.

Cardamom beef stew with roasted root vegetables

Blue Kitchen
Unlike other beef stew recipes, which might call for parsnips and other root vegetables to be added to the stock, in this iteration they're roasted, and added as a topping.

By Terry BoydBlue Kitchen
Serves 4

2 cups dry red wine [editor's note: may substitute cooking wine]
20 cardamom pods, crushed (or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 pound stew meat, cubed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3-1/2 cups beef stock or broth, unsalted or reduced sodium (plus more, if needed)
1 bulb garlic, halved
1 bay leaf
2 cups large diced potatoes
1 cup large diced celery root
1 cup large diced parsnips
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra

1. Prepare the stew. Bring wine to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and cook until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Set aside. (If the wine reduces too much, just top up with more wine.) Place the crushed cardamom pods in a piece of cheese cloth and tie with kitchen string to create a sachet.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium flame. Add celery, carrots, and onion to pot and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid overly browning. Meanwhile, season stew meat with salt and pepper. Add to pot.

3. Quickly whisk tomato paste into reduced wine. Add 3-1/2 cups stock and wine/tomato paste mixture to pot and stir to combine. Add cardamom sachet (or ground cardamom), garlic bulb halves, and bay leaf. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and braise in the oven for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, until beef is completely tender. Check about halfway through, stirring and adding more stock if too much has cooked away.

4. Prepare the root vegetables. About 45 minutes before the stew is ready, toss the potatoes, celery root and parsnips with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Spread them on a lightly oiled, rimmed baking sheet and roast until golden brown, about 45 minutes, tossing once halfway through.

5. Assemble the dish. Discard cardamom sachet and bay leaf. Gently squeeze garlic bulb halves to release individual cloves into stew and discard skins. At this point, the cloves are mellow and meltingly soft; they will add wonderful flavor bursts to the stew. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Spoon stew into four shallow soup plates. Top with roasted root vegetables and serve.

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