So, 2016. Can you believe it? What’s in store for us this year? Well, aside from a lot of PAC advertising and frothing-at-the-mouth presidential contenders, I’ve read that beer is going to be BIG this year, along with coffee and not just as a beverage, but as an ingredient. And insects (think crickets and grasshoppers) will be replacing our current kale and quinoa obsessions. (Um, no.)
I’ve also read about using chlorophyll (in liquid form) as a booster for yogurt and smoothies. Whaaaa???? Whole turmeric (not the powder) is making its way into sweet as well as savory dishes. And pulses (a.k.a. dried beans, legumes, chick peas and lentils) will take their rightful place as a sound nutritional staple and ecologically friendly source of protein. ‘Bout time.
Ok. Some of the “trends” sound interesting. Others, not so much. I think I’ll take my chlorophyll in lettuce form, thank you. And frankly the only way an insect is going to make it into my cooking is if it hops in the pot without me noticing.
But turmeric, yeah. I’ve seen baskets of this rhizome at our farmers market. Beer and coffee absolutely belong in cooking as well as on the side to wash everything down — I’m picturing some savory-malty braises. And I’ve always been a proponent of legumes. (Truth: when I found out that beans weren’t a part of the Paleo Diet – I knew it wasn’t for me.)
I guess we’ll see where the “Food Gods” take us this year, but I’ve got a few things in mind that have nothing to do with any of the trends mentioned above and I can’t wait!
In the meantime, I thought I’d share one of my personal favorites, a tasty beef and vegetable soup. Those aren’t potatoes – I used turnips, though you can use whatever veg is currently residing in your crisper bin. I look forward to sharing some good food with you this year! Enjoy and happy 2016!
Healthy Vegetable Beef Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 8 ounces button mushrooms sliced
- 1 1/4 pounds chuck roast or beef for stew, cut into 1/2" dice
- 3 medium turnips peeled and cut into 1/2" dice
- 3 medium carrots peeled and cut into bite size pieces
- 1 15- ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups low sodium beef broth or stock
- 4 cups kale tough stems removed, chopped
- 1/2 cup farro or substitute barley
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large dutch oven or heavy soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and a sprinkle of salt (about 1/4 teaspoon), cook and stir until mushrooms begin to brown and give up some of their liquid. Transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pot and add the beef. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and chopped vegetables and stir to combine. Simmer on the stove for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string. Add the herbs to the pot along with the bay leaves and tomatoes. Stir in the broth and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the kale and farro and simmer for 10-15 minutes more. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve.