It’s a sure sign of a well-trained country cook when you start coming up with your own twists and versions of common meals you might have all the time. But have you ever thought of what you …
It’s a sure sign of a well-trained country cook when you start coming up with your own twists and versions of common meals you might have all the time. But have you ever thought of what you might name those things? My wife is a very talented cook, as I have bragged over columns past, and in these winter months, she has a habit of cooking large portions to last us a few days of lunches. After all, if you think about it, it saves dishes. In an effort to use up some of our canned tomato sauce from the fall, she has taken to making more soups, one of which being among these famed, common, yet unidentifiable concoctions. Before you get the wrong idea, it was divine—it simply wasn’t something I could necessarily put a label on.
As a stocky kind of fellow, I enjoy my soups on the thicker side. Soups, as I’m told by my wife, should be watery. However, the thicker the better in my personal opinion, and the way out here we cook to taste, not to please the papers, so to speak. So, allow me to paint the picture for your taste buds. Wafting from that great big 7.5-quart ceramic-coated pot came the scent of freshly cooked venison and a deep broth. As I peered over the side, I was greeted with a thick red sauce mainly comprised of small O-shaped pasta that resembled barley and chunks of cut vegetables and cooked burger. It was not an overly complicated soup, but upon doling out a bowl for our dinner, I found it disappeared all too quickly. For those of you reading this, you should know that it is only by a miracle that a picture of the soup was taken before we devoured it entirely. I asked my wife what she called her soup and she began to just add ingredients together to form a lengthy title, but upon passing a few ideas back and forth, we decided that “something soup” would be the best name for it. After all, how can you mess up something soup? Want to add a little bit of fresh-cut herbs to your soup? Doesn’t change the name. Want to make it meatless? Great. Make any change you want to something soup, use it as a starting point and take it where your heart leads you. Or your stomach. You know, they’re basically the same thing when it comes to food.
As a reference for anyone wanting to know what was in our something soup, my wife began by melting a large pad of butter in the bottom of the ceramic pot. Then she added minced garlic and chopped onions and celery before depositing the ground meat to be browned. Once the meat was brown, the pot was deglazed with a splash of Bordeaux wine. Then, chopped carrots were added along with beef stock, tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper and basil. After simmering and stirring for about 20 minutes, my wife added the tubettini pasta and cooked until complete on low heat.
You can feel free to copy ours or start your own. The great part about a something soup is that it’s bound to be something. Whether that be a good thing or not is up to your own culinary skill.
The way out here we don’t always cook the same thing twice, but no matter how it comes off the stove, it’s got to be tasty.
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 onion chopped
1 bunch celery chopped
Bordeaux wine (by eye to deglaze)
2 large carrots chopped
1 pound ground meat (venison, beef, etc.)
4 cups beef stock
1 pint tomato sauce
1 pint chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper (to taste)
2 tablespoons basil
Pasta (tubettini or macaroni)
Heat butter in a large pot and add garlic, onions and celery until evenly sautéed. Add ground meat and brown. Deglaze with a splash of Bordeaux wine. Add carrots, beef stock, tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper and basil. Stir and simmer for approximately 20 minutes to build flavor. Add pasta (Tubelletini) and cook over low heat until pasta is tender. Serve and enjoy.