Beef Short Rib Soup with Heirloom Veggies in the Crockpot!

“Growing your own food may be one of the most powerful steps you can take for the health of yourself, your family, and your planet.” ― Lindsay Oberst (foodrevolution.org)

Our Favorite Recipes

Ingredients:

2.5 pounds beef short ribs
3 small heads baby Bok choy
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic minced OR 2 tsp jarred
3 cups quartered / chunked baby heirloom potatoes
2 cups coined carrots & parsnips mixed evenly
½ cup diced red onion
1 TBSP minced fresh parsley OR 1 tsp dried
2 cups cremini mushrooms, halved
1- 32 ounce container of beef broth
½ tsp Montreal steak spice
½ TBSP seasoned garlic salt

Choose to serve with either homemade dumplings, pour over cooked Basmati rice, or add some extra wide Amish egg noodles! Either of them will be delicious!


Pro Tip: Have an extra container of broth for the leftovers as the broth will get absorbed by either of the dumplings, rice or noodles!

1. Cut short ribs in ⅓’s 

Pro Tip: Cut each short rib into thirds to easily remove the small round bone. You can also cut into chunks and use for beef stew- Just add 2 TBSP white flour to a cup of the broth, whisk & add!

2. Wash & cut all veggies.

3.  In a crockpot layer ingredients; short ribs, potatoes, Bok choy, carrots & parsnips, onions, garlic, parsley, & mushrooms.

4. Pour broth and olive oil over mixture & stir to mix.

5. Next, put seasonings on top and pour broth over.

6. Cook on high for 5 to 6 hours.

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Happy Day,
Jean

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Italian Wedding Soup with Cheese Tortellini

Several years ago my good friend Kate Lawson, former food writer for The Detroit News shared her Italian Wedding soup recipe with my daughter. It quickly became one my families favorites. I have of course altered it to be my own & to suit our taste buds over the years. Hers was of course dynamite, but I love to be creative in the kitchen.

Pro Tip: I always use fresh veggies from the garden or the farmers market if in season & if not I purchase them. Fresh veggies always give a much fresher flavor to this delicious soup!

Meatballs:

1 pound lean ground beef
1 small red onion minced- about ½ cup
1 egg (farm fresh are best)
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 fresh clove of garlic, minced
1 TBSP Italian Seasoning- see my recipe here: https://bit.ly/3dRCzIW
½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper

  1. In a large bowl mix all ingredients until evenly blended.
  2. Form into walnut size or 1” balls.
  3. Place on a cookie sheet and place in the fridge for 30 minutes until firm.
    Makes approximately 24-28 meatballs.

While the meatballs are setting, start soup.

1 TBSP butter
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sliced baby carrots- cut into ¼ inch coins
½ cup minced red onion, packed
1 fresh clove of garlic, minced
1- 48oz container of beef broth
4-6 tomatoes pureed to make 2 cups OR 1- 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes or sauce
(I like to use either a variety of Heirloom tomatoes or Roma’s)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
1- 16 ounce bag of 5 cheese tortellini
1 cup baby spinach, packed

  1. In a large pot put oil, butter, onions, carrots, and minced garlic in. Cook on medium heat for approximately 7-10 minutes or until veggies are fork tender.
  2. Add meatballs into veggie mixture, mix thoroughly, and sauté meatballs until golden brown on outside- approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Add broth, tomato puree, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper; stir until thoroughly blended, cover and cook for 30 minutes on medium heat stirring occasionally bringing to a low boil.
  4. Add tortellini and spinach, stir in and cook for 7 minutes.

This is a hearty soup and is delicious served with fresh Italian bread. Sprinkle a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese on top & enjoy!

What’s your favorite soup? Tell me in the comments!

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Happy day friends,
Jean

My Front Porch Garden and Yummy Tuscan Soup

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When you drive into my lane my garden’s begin to envelope you….although it wasn’t so when we moved here. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, there weren’t any gardens when we purchased our old farmhouse. We gardeners often have lofty aspirations… we dreamily peruse our favorite gardening magazines, take notes on things we want to incorporate and longingly wait till we can create that new bed, stumble upon a new rose bush and make the season’s first bouquet of sweetly scented jonquils. Spring is only a few days away and although there is snow covering the ground on my farm, I know my tulips and daffodils will soon be peaking up and sending me warm greetings of love….

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My front porch garden started out like most projects… lay some stones, fill with dirt and plant some flowers- presto, new bed. Well, to say the least she was the beginning of my ‘lofty aspirations’… she has been the inspiration for the mulitude of gardens now surrounding our home. Here is the story, and a story it is on the conception of my front porch garden… and beyond.

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This garden has been a challenge with several ‘make-overs’ for her to boast. It was the first bed I attempted to create… it started as a simple four foot deep, straight lined bed off the porch, wrapping around the side of the house and leading to the back door. If you remember in my previous post on the bistro garden, this bed went right up and around to the back door where the bird cage is.

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I laid rocks around as a border and then filled in with soil, planted several perennials and lots of annuals the first year. That year we also laid a cobble stone walk around this bed and around the side of the house as well. The banister garden came along shortly after. We’ve made gobs of changes since then… as you’ll see.

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The next year we discovered a sidewalk completely grown over with sod. It was only by accident that Neil ever thought to check what that ‘stone’ was (and was probably wishing he’d left well enough alone)… lo and behold he kept finding more and more ‘stones’. He spent an entire Memorial day unearthing, by hand with a shovel I might add, over thirty 2×2 concrete step stones! What a find- at least I thought so ;-). So began another project- we needed to choose the new walks location.

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This is when we decided to build the front arbor… so after some figuring was done on its location, we had a plan for the walk. It would be laid on a slight and natural angle widening off to about six feet from the original bed. Now there was going to be this triangle shaped section of sod between the walk and the flower bed… 'extend the bed' I said! So we did.

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Now for more work. We removed all the rocks,the cobble stones in the front, dug all the plants that we could, raked out the soil, and then dug the sod by hand. We then laid black plastic where the bed and the walk would be, replaced the edging rocks and brought dirt in building it up about a foot deep. We put sand down where the step stones would be laid so we could get them fairly level, not perfect by any means, but very cute none-the-less. We took the cobble stones from the front and placed them beside the other in between the banister garden and first cobble walk, thereby doubling it in width. Extending that four foot deep bed out to reach the new walk led into the creation of the breakfast patio and front arbor with picket fences. As you can see from the photo’s, the porch itself has had several face lifts and continues to change each year!

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Well, after all that I thought this bed was set… I planted several perennials that fall and had some big dreams of how things would look next year… the next year we had a drain issue! Neil and a friend had to bust a hole in our porch, replace a main drain pipe and dig right through the garden (killing a newly established clematis and my lupines), through the sidewalk and across the lawn (killing two of my precious Miss. Kim lilacs in a new hedge planted by the road!)

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I was devastated, but I had to keep a positive perspective… a new climbing rose would replace the clematis and I would try lupines again. This bed is yet to my perfectionist ‘cottage garden’ standards- yes I realize that is a complete oxymoron, but you know what I mean if you’re a gardener.

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Dreaming of new gardens and spring on the horizon keeps me pining away until at last I’ll be sitting on my porch waiting for a friend to come up the lane.

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Can’t say good bye without sending you off with something yummy to make… enjoy friends!
Here’s a yummy soup for the last of these cold, winter days…
Tuscan Soup
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 medium potatoes
1 lb. Spicy Italian Sausage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups chopped kale

Brown Sausage; cool.
Combine the broth and cream in a sauce pan; slice the unpeeled potato into 1/4 inch slices; add the browned sausage; add the kale.
Add the spices and let soup simmer for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally.

Happy Day,
Jean