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This soup is best prepared in two installments. Make the broth one day, refrigerate overnight and remove any fat. Add the sautéed vegetables and orzo the next day.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 lbs boneless beef chuck
- 1 onion, unpeeled, halved
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups water
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1⁄2 cup chopped celery
- 1⁄2 cup chopped carrot
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 lb mushroom, trimmed and coarsely chopped
- fresh ground pepper
- 1⁄4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
- 1⁄4 cup orzo pasta
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large heavy saucepan.
- Brown the beef; add the onion and brown lightly on the cut side.
- Add the bay leaf and water.
- Heat over medium heat until almost boiling.
- For a clearer broth, do not let boil.
- Cook, uncovered, at a gentle simmer for 2 hours.
- Strain broth through a sieve lined with dampened paper towels.
- Chill overnight and finish soup next day or continue with recipe.
- Pull meat into strings; set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in saucepan.
- Add chopped onion, celery and carrot.
- Sauté until golden, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in garlic, sauté 1 minute more.
- Add the mushrooms, sauté until golden, about 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the shredded meat and broth to the sautéed vegetables; stir in parsley, frozen vegetables and orzo.
- Heat to boiling.
- Simmer, uncovered, until orzo is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
It turns out that you can brown the meat ahead of time and then put it in a crock-pot with water and the bay leaves, very useful if you don't mind doing prep work before hand. My family found it a bit lacking in taste as far as spices go, My mother said that she thought it would be good with more garlic as well, and I added a few dashes of sweet hungarian paprika to the soup when I was browning the meat, but I will add more next time. we love things with rich flavor, when you are choosing a vegetable mix, I reccomend one with some baby potatoes in it, because putting in frozen potatoes which were almost fully cooked already turns them into little balls of mashed potatoes almost. next time I might have a rosmary bread with it, but all in all, a very good and hearty soup.