Soup-er Simple: Autumnal beef, turnip, and cabbage soup

I love creating soups from scratch without a recipe. Sometimes the results are just “meh,” but sometimes I hit upon a dish that I think it worth repeating. Last night, I assembled a concoction that I found particularly delicious (I had 4 helpings!) so I thought I’d share the recipe with you. This is a hearty-yet-light soup, packed with vegetables and perfect for early fall.

One of my soup rules is that it’s fine to add or swap out ingredients freely based on what you have in your kitchen. Don’t have beef broth handy? Use veggie stock instead. Have some carrots that are about to go bad? Toss ’em in! Soup can be a receptacle for pretty much any vegetable that you need to use up.

Autumnal beef, turnip, & cabbage soup

Dairy-free, gluten-free. Recipe makes about 6 large servings.

1 package beef cubes (~1 pound)
1  large onion, chopped
3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1-2 large turnips, diced (or sub in potatoes or rutabaga)
1 small purple cabbage or 1/2 large cabbage, chopped
1 box lamb broth (or beef or vegetable broth)
1 cup red wine
Five spice powder (~1 tbsp)
Italian or poultry seasoning (w/ thyme, sage, etc) (~1 tsp)
2 bay leaves
10 whole cloves
safflower oil or another high-heat oil (~2 tbsp)
olive oil (~2 tbsp)
salt, black pepper, & cayenne pepper (add to taste)

Cook time: 1.5 hours or more (the longer you simmer it, the better it tastes!)

Add some high-heat oil (I used safflower oil) to a large stainless steel pot or an iron/ceramic dutch oven, and turn heat up to medium-high. Once pot is warm, add in beef cubes. Brown the beef on all sides. Once beef is browned and sticking to the bottom of the pot a bit, pour in red wine. Allow wine to cook for a minute, then pour in box of broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer. While this is simmering, you can chop up all the veggies. Beef should simmer for about 30 minutes before other ingredients are added in, to help it soften. Depending on the size of your beef cubes, you can remove the cubes to a cutting board, chop them into smaller pieces, and return to the pot.

Autumnal beef soup 1

In another large pot, drizzle ~2 tbsp olive oil. Add onion and a pinch of salt, and cook over medium heat until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, celery, and bell pepper with another pinch of salt, and stir over medium-low heat for awhile. Once veggies are softened, add these cooked veggies to the first pot with beef and broth. Add turnips, cabbage, bay leaves, five spice powder, cloves, and Italian/poultry seasoning to the main pot. Add water as needed to make sure veggies are just covered. Let simmer for ~1 hour, until everything is tender to your liking. Add cayenne pepper for a kick.

Autumnal beef soup 2

Enjoy with a glass of red wine or your favorite fall beverage!

Autumnal beef soup 3

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