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Simple Pleasures Sunday
Comfort Food at its Best – Jeff’s Vegetable Beef Soup
When was the last time you snuggled into a big soft cozy chair, with a hot cup of cocoa, a warm, ultra-soft blanket wrapped around you and a fantastic book you’d been dying to read; the rain pattering softly on the windows, thunder rumbling in the distance and the space around your chair lit with the soft glow of the table lamp or a pumpkin spice candle.
If it wasn’t recently, you need to – sometime soon. That wonderful, warm cozy sensation such an activity inspires is called hygge (pronounced “hooga”)
The word hygge comes from a Norwegian word meaning “well-being” and it encompasses many things, including the art of creating intimate gatherings, removing annoyance from your life, cultivating an attitude of gratitude for your current blessings, enjoying cozy togetherness and especially cocoa by candlelight. This is hygge.
Another key component of hygge is sharing fabulous comfort food with family and friends. While I don’t remotely agree with Danish politics, at a Danish hyggelige dinner there are no divisive discussions about politics, family issues, or someone’s dysfunctional kids. No one makes snide comments, complains, or is overtly negative. Everyone pitches in and lends a hand, so that not one person gets stuck doing the dishes. There’s no bragging, or attacks, or competition. It is filled with well-meaning communication with a focus on appreciating the here and now, the good food, and the folks. We all need a little more hygge in our life.
Our regular dinners with our dear friends are hyggelige to the max. These are the faces of hygge.
So for our Simple Pleasures Sunday this week, and to send you some hygge of your own with love, here’s another one of my favorite comfort food recipes – Jeff’s Vegetable Beef Soup. This soup is like wrapping yourself in a soft warm snuggly blanket. It’s really, really, really good. It’s also really, really easy. Just chop some stew meat or chuck roast and add it to a stock pot to sear over medium heat. While the meat is browning, chop some potatoes like so.
Next chop some celery, carrots and onions. Jeff loves using a bench scraper to transport food in the kitchen.
Add 4 quarts of water to the stock pot and scrape the bottom of the pot to dislodge any browned bits. Then add 15 cubes of beef bullion and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and all the vegetables except the cabbage.
Let everything cook for 30 minutes at a low simmer. Jeff generally uses green cabbage, but he thought the red cabbage would add some festive Halloween color. (Besides which, that was what we had in the vegetable crisper…) Waste not, want not. Doesn’t this look wonderful?
You may be tempted to rush it, but the soup needs the full 45 minutes of cooking time to tenderize the meat and allow all the wonderful flavors to mingle and marry. It’s worth it when you’re rewarded with this.
This Vegetable Beef Soup is so tasty and filled with love. Look at all that beautiful fall color and the meat is fork tender. Not to mention, t’s just brimming with hygge.
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A warm, savory comforting bowl of love. An AlohaDreams.com recipe brought to you with hygge.
- 2 pounds stew meat
- 8 Yukon Gold potatoes , medium size - peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks
- 1 large white or yellow onion chopped
- 12 - 16 ounces baby carrots , sliced ¼ inch thick
- 6 stalks celery , chopped - 1/2 inch thick
- 15 beef bullion cubes
- 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
- 4 quarts water
- ½ head green cabbage , or red - sliced ¾ thick
In a large stock pot over medium high heat, sear stew meat until browned on all sides.
Add water to pot and scrape bottom to remove the browned bits.
Add beef bouillon cubes, Worcestershire sauce and all vegetables except cabbage.
Cook, uncovered for 30 minutes.
Break cabbage slices apart and add to soup. Cook, uncovered and additional 15 minutes. Serve.
Here’s some other fantastic recipes to put you in a hygge frame of mind.
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