LONGLEAF STORIES

full circle in the hundred acre wood

2016-10-19-07-36-086:30 in the morning. Still dark. Fed Lou. Brushed my teeth. Started a pot of coffee. Awake enough now to stand on the third rung of the step ladder and reach to the top shelf in the pantry for the big stainless steel stock pot. It’s red soup day.

The kitchen still smells of the roasted chicken we had for supper last night, a not unpleasant aroma. I’ve half a mind to fetch out a drumstick and munch on it with my coffee. But no. These days I’m more an oats and cinnamon kind of gal in the morning.

2016-10-19-07-36-00

I start the soup with a 2.7 pound hunk of London Broil beef. No magic in the amount; that’s just the package I picked up. In years past, I made Red Soup with chuck roast. Now, though, Buck and I don’t eat beef at all except in this soup, so what I’m after is lean protein, and this cut fits the bill. The meat goes in the pot along with a chopped onion, a celery rib, and several old carrots (added for flavor but which will come out later and fresh ones put in).

2016-10-19-07-41-55Two 32 ounce boxes of Swanson organic beef stock and some black pepper, and we’re on our way. The beef will simmer for an hour or so until it’s tender, then I’ll remove it from the pot to a wide-bottomed bowl to cool.

After the beef cools, I’l cut it into chunks and add it back to the pot along with fresh carrots, baby lima beans, whole kernel corn, several cans of diced tomatoes, some low-sodium V-8 Juice, and cut okra. Probably some other stuff I can recall at the moment, too. We call it Red Soup because it’s what Buck’s late mother, Lois, called it. He (like many other lucky kids) has been eating a version of this since he was a child. Restorative stuff.

In her best imitation of a mournful screech owl, Lou’s spiraling song reminds me that we haven’t yet walked to the gate this morning. The beef can simmer while we fetch the newspaper at the gate.

Love these gorgeous cool dry fall mornings. When Lou and I open the door again, the house smells have changed from roasted chicken to simmering beef with onions, celery and carrots. My tummy growls.

 

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