How could a week go by without a soup? In my family, we just love soups. This week I tried… you guessed right…. Vicky’s meat soup with my usual modifications with the ingredients. Vicky’s meat soup comes out beautifully clear. I yet have to master the art of removing meat froth efficiently. S0, mine is more brownish but super-super yummy. In my opinion, the secret ingredient for the fabulous taste in this soup is the cloves. You’ll get a different soup if you pass on them. I organize the recipe in 3 steps.
Ingredients for boiling the meat -second step
- 1 pound meat, bite size cuts
- 2 bay leaves –fresh or dry
- a lemon cut in four — I slightly peeled it off with a zester to get rid of the wax
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1-2 teaspoons cloves (depends how strong you want the flavor)
- 1 teaspoon whole black pepper
Ingredients to add for the third step
- 2 potatoes peeled and cut in bite size cubes
- 2 medium to large carrots peeled and cut in bite size rounds
- 3 celery stalks washed and cut in bite size roungs
- 2 onions, cut in rounds or small chunks
- 2 cubes garlic pulp
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- olive oil
How to make:
Step 1: Cleaning the meat. Be sure to wash well the meat. Leave it a bowl with cold water for an hour or so, empty the water, refill and repeat 2-3 times until the water remains clear. Here’s how I fit this in my busy schedule. I put the meat in water the night before. I changed the water a second time in the morning before I left for work and then again in the evening before we sat for dinner.
Step 2: Boil the meat. During dinner (which I’d prepared the night before), I put the meat in a large pot filled up with cold water 3/4 to the rim. (Or more depending on how big your pot is. Be sure to start with a lot of water so you don’t have to thin the stock later when you’re ready to add the veggies.) I probably didn’t have the heat high enough or checked too late to see if the meat generated froth. When I checked the food there was only a little froth round the edges which I meticulously removed with a spoon. When defrothing was done, I added the lemon, bay leaves, whole black pepper, pine nuts and cloves and let it boil for an hour. By that time we’d finished dinner and we were getting ready to check homework. I strained the meat and the spices and put the clear stock back into the pot (after I’d washed it quickly to get rid of any froth stuck at the sides).
Step 3: Add veggies. I put the meat pieces in the pot and discarded the spices. I added the potatoes, carrots, celery, onion,garlic pulp, red pepper flakes and salt , gave them a good stir and let the food cook for another hour. Then, I went off to check my daughter’s homework and get both kids ready to take a bath. Before you take the soup off the heat, check that the meat is really very soft, the veggies tender and correct for salt if needed. You can add olive oil either while the veggies are cooking or right before you serve, especially if you have excellent quality olive oil.
Notes and tips: For boiling the meat Vicky adds ‘bachari’, too. When the vegetables go in, she adds leeks –the white parts cut in rounds, the greens tied for the taste and removed before serving — a bunch of celery instead of celery stalk, which also gets removed, three fresh garlic stalks sliced instead of garlic pulp, and hot red pepper instead of red pepper flakes. She also adds fennel seeds and three spring onions sliced, which I would happily have added too, if I had them.