VEGETABLE BEEF SOUP (for six)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup each: finely and neatly diced carrots, onions, leeks and tender celery ribs
2 quarts homemade beef stock or canned broth, diluted with water if it is too strong
½ cup neatly diced turnips
½ cup orzo (or, if children are the main consumers, alphabet pasta), or raw rice
1-½ cups shredded green outer leaves of cabbage
¾ cup peeled, seeded and neatly diced tomatoes
¾ cup cooked or canned red or white beans (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
- Make the soup. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed, 3 quart saucepan, stir in the diced carrots, onions, leeks and celery, and saute 2 minutes. Pour in the stock, add the turnips and pasta or rice, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Meanwhile, drop the cabbage into a pan of boiling water and boil uncovered 2 to 3 minutes, until limp; drain, run cold water over it to set the color, and reserve. (May be prepared to this point in advance; chill, uncovered, then refrigerate covered.)
- Finish the soup. Just before serving, bring the soup to the simmer with the cabbage, diced tomatoes and the cooked beans if you are using them. Taste carefully and correct seasoning.
adapted from Julia Child, The Way to Cook