Thursday, January 10, 2013

Grandmother's Beef Vegetable Soup with Homemade Dumplings {Recipe}

It has finally gotten cold in Texas (which means it is in the 50s) and that means it is soup weather! There is nothing better than having a steaming bowl of delicious soup while the the wild winter winds blow outside. Especially if it's my Grandmother's vegetable beef soup with homemade dumplings. My Grandmother was a farmer's wife and mother to ten children (!!!), so she knew how to make mouthwatering meals that truly satisfied.

This soup is my best-loved winter meal. I love coming home and smelling this yummy soup waiting for me in the crock pot. Perfect end to a cold day. I will be honest here: the dumplings are my favorite part. I try to get as many as I reasonably can in my bowl. They are that good.

Bonus: this soup make a lot of servings and freezes really well. So the next time you have a craving for it, you don't have to wait all day. :)


For the soup
-Soup bone {If you can't find just soup bones at the store, try beef shanks or even beef ribs. Really any cut of meat that has the bone in it and minimal meat. The bone is what gives the soup that hearty, beefy flavor. Our grocery store will usually put a little sticker on the package saying "Great for soups". Note: Don't use ox-tail. It tastes a}
-8 oz. can of tomato sauce
-15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
-an onion
-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
-1/2 teaspoon Season All
-1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
-1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash
-3-4 cans of assorted vegetables {I like to use corn, peas, and green beans but feel free to customize the soup to your own preference.We also save any leftover vegetables from our dinners and freeze them, then add them to the soup. I usually have a special container in the freezer for such a purpose and if there is a small helping remaining at the end of dinner, I just put it in. This was my grandmother's secret to making a great soup. Waste not, want not.}
-2-3 potatoes
-1 cup of sliced carrots

For the dumplings
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 egg
- splash of milk 

1.  Place the soup bones in the crock pot. Cut your onion into large chunks and put in with the meat.

2. Open the can of tomato sauce and the can of diced tomatoes and add both in the crock pot. Fill the empty can of diced tomatoes with water and pour it in.

3. Next, add your spices: Worcestershire, pepper, Season All, and Mrs. Dash. Turn your crock pot on low.


4. Since you have the cutting board out from cutting up the onions, go ahead and dice up your potatoes and carrots into bite-size pieces. You can store them in a bowl of water in the refrigerator until you need to add them to the soup.


5. Let the meat cook for about 5 hours before adding your veggies. It is better to wait to add the vegetables so they don't get overly mushy. Nobody likes soggy vegetables. Add the canned vegetables along with the liquid they come in. If you have any frozen, saved veggies, add those too. Drain your carrots and potatoes and throw them in too (don't actually throw them...unless you have better aim than I do).

6. Let the soup cook (crock?) for another 3-4 hours.

7. Right before you are ready to serve the soup, make the dumplings. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt and egg.

8. Add the milk until the mixture holds together and is slightly sticky. If you add too much milk, just sprinkle in some flour until the consistency is right.

9. Remove enough liquid from the soup to fill a pot. This is where you will cook your dumplings. Put on the stove and heat.

10. Once the soup in the pot is boiling, start making your dumplings! Get a metal spoon and dip it in the hot soup first. This helps the dumplings from sticking to the spoon.Take small spoonfuls of dumplings and dunk them in the boiling soup.


 11. Allow the dumplings to cook. The dumplings are done when they float to the top.

 12. Pour the dumplings and soup juice back into the crock pot.

 13. Serve...yummy!!

I hope this soup makes your frigid winter days a little bit warmer!

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