Beef, Vegetable, & Whole Buckwheat Soup

Beef, Vegetable, and Buckwheat Soup

Beef, Vegetable, and Buckwheat Soup: Whole buckwheat is a great substitution for pearl barley in this hearty and easy to make soup.

 

There is something about being a reader that allows you to find yourself. It isn’t in a philosophizing way where you sit and ponder your existence in an existential funk. What it is, is that you sit quietly with yourself and let your mind travel. It may be with one of those books that you tell your friends about and want everyone to read, but it may just be with one of those novels that you read just for you. I reject the term ‘guilty pleasure’ because reading is never a bad thing for me. I feel no guilt in enjoying a romance novel. I revel in the formulaic plot, the budding romance, the dangerous villain, the black moment between the two lovers, and the satisfactory conclusion.

Being a reader is a part of me and when I haven’t been reading much, I feel its absence. Part of me is missing. When I find the time or inclination to sit down and read a book for longer than the 10 minutes I usually read before I fall asleep at night, I feel a deep-seated satisfaction. I feel myself. I feel I am the same self that read book after book in my lonely pre-teen and teenage years, and the same self that read novels as a treat in between the required reading in university. Now reading fills empty spaces between interruptions or I force myself to read a few pages before I fall asleep at night. This sporadic reading is wearing on me. I feel disconnected and often depressed. I need to stop, sit, and read so that I can find me again. I need to be the girl that would read for hours on end, whose sister would make fun of for reading, the girl who didn’t care because I was where I wanted to be. Right now, I’m not where I want to be and I don’t know how to find my way. I wonder if I stop, turn off the TV, pick up a book, and just start reading again if I might find my way to where I want to be again.

The lure of the TV has been a strong one for me lately. Likely because when I sit down to feed the baby I pop on a show to watch while he has his bottle and a cuddle from me. I watch while I fold the multitude of laundry that my house generates and then I watch TV with my husband when we relax together at the end of the evening after the boys are tucked into bed. When I have time that could be devoted to reading, I find myself doing chores or trying to work on the blog. I feel the need to fill these blocks of time with productivity. Perhaps with the season changing I won’t be such couch potato.

Winter is close to being officially over and I am enjoying the brighter days that extend past supper time. I know that a hearty beef soup isn’t exactly springtime fare but it is a meal that is pretty quick to put together and can easily be doubled for the freezer. To freeze, I take the soup as far as deglazing with the wine and then put it in the freezer bag. To add the broth before freezing would make more bulk in the freezer.

I leave you with this soup recipe and hope it is one more for the road where winter is concerned. I am so over freezing my ass off and being cooped up in the house. Also, if you have any book recommendations for this lapsed reader, please share in the comments. I love historical fiction and historical romance and I’m always looking for new books to read. Well, in my case recently, I’m looking for more books to sit on my bedside table waiting to be read.

Yields 6

Beef Vegetable & Whole Buckwheat Soup

10 minPrep Time

1 hr, 15 Cook Time

1 hr, 25 Total Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb stewing beef
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Herbe de Provence
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 potato
  • 1/4 cup whole buckwheat
  • 1/4 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut the stewing beef into small, bite sized pieces (approx 1/2" square). Season well with salt and pepper.
  2. In 3 1/2 or 4 quart wide bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add all the stewing beef to to the pot* and brown well. Cook the beef long enough so the beef gets some deep brown parts.
  3. When the beef is browned well, add the chopped shallots and minced garlic. Let those cook for a few minutes to soften and then add the Herbe de Provence and tomato paste.
  4. Deglaze the pot with the red wine and then add the beef broth and water, cover with the lid and let it simmer for a half hour.
  5. Peel and cut the carrot into thin circles. Wash the potato, peel if necessary, and cut it into 1/2' cubes. Add the potato and carrot to the pot, cover with the lid and let is simmer for a half hour. Add the whole buckwheat as well. Season with salt and pepper
  6. When the stewing beef is very tender and the potato and carrots are cooked through, add the peas and green beans. Check the seasoning of the soup and adjust according to your taste. Let the peas and beans cook for a few minutes and serve.

Notes

This is contrary to the best practice of browning meat in batches but this is done to make this a quick recipe. If you leave the beef to cook long enough, it will brown after the excess juice evaporate away.
*I buy whole buckwheat at a large health food store. You could substitute pearl barley if you are ok with gluten

http://strawberriesforsupper.com/beef-vegetable-whole-buckwheat-soup/

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I totally identify with this post. I have about 6 books laying around in different states of “unread”. I never feel like I can relax and just enjoy because there’s always a long list of things to do and I DO feel guilty! I read more non-fiction now because I feel like at least I’m being a little bit productive with that. And I hate to admit it but I really do think my attention span has shrunk tremendously in the last 5 years and that scares me a little bit. I miss that feeling of being so emotionally caught up in a story that when the book is finished I feel almost groggy upon reentry into the real world. I hope we can both figure out how to get back into a reading groove!

  2. says

    Oh I can totally relate, I miss reading for fun. That’s one of the things I’m looking forward to once I finish school. One of my all-time favourite reads is “The Paris Wife”, you might have already read it, but it’s historical fiction based on Hemingway and his first wife. It was probably the last book that really pulled me in and stayed with after.

    • says

      Thanks for the tip Lou! I have looked at that book several times but always set it back down. I remember being in uni and reading so many articles and books per week; the life of a history major. When I finished a round of essays and exams I would relish reading a good novel. It was so enjoyable. I long to grasp at that again.

  3. says

    I am thinking of that stack of books sitting beside my bed that never seems to get smaller and feel sad. How did we get so busy? Were our parents this busy? What is the answer to finding that time again? The only thing I can think of is turning off the TV at night and sitting and reading together.

  4. says

    I’m with you on rejecting the term ‘guilty pleasure,’ whether it be associated with food or reading. Why should any pleasure have to be considered guilty? If we don’t indulge ourselves occasionally, whether in a sweet treat or a sweet read, we just might go off the rails and binge eat or read!

    And besides, when it comes to reading, for me it’s not the genre that counts, but the quality of the writing. A good writer makes pretty much any topic or genre worth reading. I’m a huge mystery/detective fan, although in recent months I’ve found myself drawn to more comforting reading. Stories of relationships and human interactions, and yes, some light reading that lets me lose myself for a while and forget my troubles. Funny, sometimes we read to find ourselves, and sometimes to lose ourselves. I remember when my children were young and I read books in spurts of no more than 10 minutes or so at a time. Now I find myself with almost too much time to read. Who would have thought that could be possible?

    I was going to suggest that you and your husband read together, if he’s also a reader, but I see that he has already suggested that (I’m assuming that’s his comment above). Smart man! There’s something very companionable about sharing a space with someone you love, each absorbed in a book, checking in from time to time to share an observation or moment of connection.

    And finally, your idea of freezing a soup base and adding the broth later is genius. Genius!

    • says

      Thanks Marlene. We are kindred spirits. I too love a good mystery – particularly anything set in England since I’m a confirmed Anglophile.

      My soup tip makes it easy to give pre-made soup to people with limited freezer space. Few people are like me and have a massive upright deep freeze. Freezing broth is just not feasible. I know that 13 years from now I will be making pre-made soup packs to put in Timothy’s university apartment freezer.

  5. says

    I definitely can relate to you here.. all I seem to do is buy books (cookbooks in particular) and they just pile up until I can find the “time”. After reading this you definitely have made me think about needing to make time for myself. Delicious soup too!

    • says

      Thanks Thalia! I’m really trying to pull myself away from the bad habit of watching tv far too late into the evening so that I can have time to settle in with a book.

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