Beef and vegetables soup

A Main-dish recipe, by Gina Lioti.

This is a healthy recipe! See why.
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Here’s why you’re going to love this

In my version of the recipe, I added carrots, onion, rice, quinoa, chilli peppers and a few spices. Both versions are great. My father's recipe has a lightly brown, almost clear broth and has a lighter taste and appearance, in general. This one is richer and fuller. You can try adding or removing any of the ingredients that you don't like. If you are a vegetarian, for example, just remove the meat; if you avoid carbohydrates remove the rice and potatoes and so on. It is so rich in taste it won’t make a big difference anyway, even if you remove two or three ingredients. The same goes for spices, add or remove any of them; for example you can use ginger, freshly grated or powder or both, or a few saffron strings, or some curry powder or even more and different types of chillies. Just experiment and see what you like.


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  1. In a medium pot, bring water to the boil and add the beef. Using a skimmer remove the beef foam (scum) while the beef is cooking.
  2. When there is no more foam coming up, you can begin adding your vegetables. I usually wash them and start dicing them only after the meat has cooked (I cannot give you exact time, as it depends on the type of beef), as I want to preserve their nutrients.
  3. Before adding anything else, sprinkle your soup with all the spices, except for the salt. Black pepper, cayenne pepper, turmeric, chillies, dried parsley, or anything else you are using. Add salt only after you serve the soup, as the beef will toughen if you add salt during cooking, and you don't want that. If you are not cooking with meat, you can add the salt now.
  4. Add a tablespoon of butter and allow it to melt. Add water, if needed.
  5. Add the tomatoes, diced in small pieces. You only need them for their colour, basically, and a little bit of their taste. But I think it is better if they melt in your soup. But if you prefer them crunchier, add them towards the end.
  6. Moving on, you add the remaining ingredients by the time they need to cook; starting with the ones that need the longest. Potatoes go first and five minutes later you add the rice. A few minutes later still add the rinsed quinoa, followed by the carrots.
  7. When the carrots are still a little crunchy, about 5 minutes later, add the diced onion, celery and courgettes.
  8. Serve warm with olive oil lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and a little cracked pepper. Forget about everything else, relax and enjoy it!

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