Recipe: Oxtail and Vegetable Soup

I love soup, and you should too. It is so satisfying, and there is a reason for that. It contains so much in the way of nutrients. The body knows when it is getting everything it needs in one bowl. And it only gets better when accompanied by a warm, buttery piece of bread.

There are other reasons to recommend soup as a regular entree in your kitchen and on your table. It is a place to put your leftovers. Leftovers that are on the cusp are rehabilitated in soup. That’s a much better solution than what you will do with them if left to deteriorate in your fridge. 
Soups allow you to experiment with and hone your cooking skills. Who knew that turnips will turn from bitter to sweet when combined with carrots and celery in a mirepoix? Only the soup masters.

You don’t have to anguish over a recipe book which constantly reminds you of exact measurements with your spoons and cups. Soup allows you to be an artist rather than a technician. Whoo hoo!

Here are the basic steps: make a mirepoix, find some bony meat item (or just use ground meat), add some vegetables, add some stock. Let it simmer a while. Eat and be merry. Here’s a recent example:

Oxtail & Vegetable Soup

Make a mirepoix with celery, onion, carrot, turnip and garlic. Season this stage and all later ones by adding salt and pepper at each stage to your raw ingredients. It’s much easier to get your seasonings right when you season one step at a time. When it looks right to you, it is right.

As the mirepoix ingredients begin to soften, add oxtail.
When the oxtail is brown and the mirepoix is fully cooked down, even getting a little crusty itself, add some tomato paste and stir it in, then add beef broth, potatoes, carrots, purple hull peas and allow to simmer until the vegetables are soft. Then add sliced cabbage until the cabbage is soft.

Honi and I enjoyed 3 delicious meals with just these ingredients. The only item purchased was 2 quarts of beef stock as we had run out of our own. We paid $3.98 for HEB Organic. Everything else was on hand.