Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ketchup Soup (aka Grandma's Beef Soup)

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Bet ya thought I'd given up on the ol' cookin' blog didn't ya?  Nah...I was just taking a bit of a break...trying to get my life sorted back out again.  And well, trying to maintain a weeks worth of recipes was just getting to be a bit too much...so, from now on...it'll just be randomness.  (yeah, I like that)

So, to start us back off I'm pulling out an ancient recipe.  (shhh...don't tell my grandma I called it that!) Okay, so maybe its not exactly ancient, but this recipe is what memories are made of...you know, memories of being at your grandmas with this incredible smell coming from her cooktop.  And then, to find out that your mom can whip up a batch too!  
Here's the funny thing...when I was living with my grandma this past summer, we made this recipe...but it wasn't what I remembered my mom making.  So...I assumed it was something different (and devoured it anyway).  When my dad asked me the other day for the recipe for a soup my mom used to make him (my parents are long divorced), I was like...YES!  that soup that she made that we all loved!  Called up mom who said she was going to wait for my grandma to arrive from Ohio so she could get the recipe first hand.

So, there we are on the phone and Grandma is rattling off the recipe to mom who is in turn relaying it to me.  Okay, first off....Grandma doesn't measure...at all.  Me?  I'm obsessed with making things perfect so this eyeball stuff just doesn't fly with me.  I kept pestering for more accurate amounts...well, I didn't get it...and neither will you in this recipe...so there.  
With the recipe typed up (sort of), I still didn't think that it was the same mom used to make...but then, revelation....mom fessed up to deviating from Grandma's directions!!!!  (heaven forbid!)  See, when Grandma makes it, she takes all the veggies and meat out and lays them on a platter.  The broth remains in the pot and the noodles in a side bowl.  Then you kinda just build your bowl'o soup.  Well, mom just left it all in the pot, ladled it over noodles and served it up.  (Grandma is not happy about that...not one bit)  BUT!  that's how I remember it too....so, I'm sticking with my mom and that's how we dished it out in my family.  :)  (and devoured it as well)
Now for the name...Grandma of course never called it that.  Somewhere along the way a cousin of mine started referring to (and requesting often) Grandma's soup as Ketchup Soup.  (well obviously because of the ketchup in it) and the name just stuck.  No longer referred to as beef soup, stew, whatever....nope...its Ketchup Soup.  And every single grandkid knows it and begs for it.  We tease each other and post pix on Facebook if someone makes it and no one else is around to share.  (yeah, that's the kind of family we are...isn't it awesome??)  :D

This is a soup that you will make again and again and again...and you will have a hell of a time just eating one bowl.  (its super addicting...trust me)  And you'll look at the ingredient list and go...huh?  That's it?  Yep, that's it.  And it's perfect.  Our family loves the vinegar taste of the ketchup, but if you aren't a big fan...ease back.  Mom (and Grandma) always say to start with half the bottle and add as you need.  (not me, I dump the whole thing in...plus a little water rinse inside the bottle to get any remaining ketchup out)  This also makes ALOT of soup.  I forgot to ask mom if you can freeze it, I'm sure you can since Grandma freezes everything, but I usually just keep eating the leftovers for lunch...for about a week straight.  :)  I'm telling you....this is one of those soups that you put together on a cold fall/winter weekend and just let the smell fill your house...then fill your belly with yummy goodness.  Follow with a nice glass of wine and a fire and you're good to go!  :D  

And now...for the recipe.  
(again, this is as detailed as we could get out of Grandma)

1 boneless chuck roast 3-4lbs  (make sure its a roast and not a round cut)
1 onion 
1 head of celery with leafy tops
3-4 medium sized carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 head cabbage (or 1 small) sliced
3-4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks (or 6-8 small whole-unpeeled baby reds)
1/2 bunch parsley chopped
1 bottle of ketchup (I like Trader Joes Organic brand)
1 box Beef stock or beef bouillon 
1 bag of egg noodles
salt, pepper, garlic powder

1. Fill a large pot with water about 3/4 of the way and bring to a boil (make sure its boiling before you add the meat!!)  *note: don't add too much water...you can always add more if you need it, but you want to make sure you don't overflow when you add the veggies)
2. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
3. Add the meat, whole onion (peeled and halved), and 2-3 stalks of celery (whole with leafy tops)
4. Simmer for 2 hours or until meat is tender (test with a fork, but don't break up the meat)
5. When meat is tender, take out onion and celery
6. Add carrots, cabbage, and 2-3 stalks more of celery with leafy tops....simmer for 1/2 hour.
7. Add potatoes and parsley and simmer until potatoes are pierced easily with a fork.
8. Next, add half the bottle of ketchup.  Stir and taste.  (we usually end up using the whole bottle, so add as much as you want to your taste) and gently simmer. (I also fill the bottle with a bit of water...shake it up to get the last bits of ketchup and dump that in too)  Add the beef stock or bouillon now too.
9. While soup is simmering, cook noodles according to package directions
10.  adjust seasonings as needed

And that's it!  Serve in bowls with noodles and scoops of soup....and then serve a second and third helping.  :)  Happy cooking!

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