First of all, let me explain why a vegetarian family is eating beef soup. One reason is that we are not 100 percent vegetarian yet. We are still in the cleaning all the meat out of the freezer, having one meal a week that contains meat stage. Also, we feel that if we can verify the source of our meat — if the animal had a fairly normal, comfortable life before it was slaughtered (no feed lots) — then we probably can conscientiously eat it. So I bought these soup bones at a local farm about a month ago, and have been waiting to use them. In all honesty, this meal would have been just as good without the soup bones. As it is, I used about 2 pounds of meat (one pound of it mostly bones) to make about 3 meals for our family. Does that make us carnivores? I guess so.
Next, I want to talk about kids and knives. With my oldest two children, I was afraid to ever let them touch a knife. I think my son was 12 before he cut up his own meat (not really.) But we did not do food preparation that involved chopping. With the younger ones, I realize I was a little overprotective. Especially since we don’t have any little ones running around underfoot to distract and knock off balance, I allow my younger ones to use knives. That being said, we are VERY careful. Max is always seated at the cutting board, I am standing very nearby, and no one else is allowed in the kitchen. For this soup recipe, Max did all the peeling (carrots) and chopped the celery. He thought it was great fun.
This is a great soup to start in the early afternoon and allow to simmer until dinner time.
Vegetable Beef Soup
2 pounds beef soup bones
2 onions, chopped
6 medium potatos, chopped
1 quart tomatoes or 2 16 ounce cans, juice and all, chopped if they are whole
1 quart water
6 carrots, cut in bite sized pieces
6 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 Tablespoon bouquet garni or similar Italian-type seasoning (I like plenty of rosemary when I have it)
1 Tablespoon salt
Put all ingredients in a large stock pot. I don’t ever let this soup come to a boil because that makes greasy foamy stuff come off of the bones, and I don’t want to skim that off my soup. Instead, I heat it on medium high to a near boil, then turn to low, put the lid on, and simmer for as long as I can. When I am nearly ready to serve the soup, (when I put my rolls in the oven), I remove the meat and bones and break the meat up into bite size pieces. Then I return the meat to the pot, taste for salt, and serve.
Enjoy your soup! Have a great day.