Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tantalizing and Tangy – Ground Beef and Sauerkraut Soup (It's Gluten Free, too!)

Part of my re-education on eating good food includes incorporating fermented and pickled vegetables into my diet. I’m on a quest to learn how to make my own fermented cabbage, kimchi, and sauerkraut. As comfortable as I am in the kitchen, I know ZIP about fermenting and pickling. And I mean Zippo, Zero, Zilch! I’m an eager student, though, and would welcome any and all help from you as to how to proceed. Please ... someone ... anyone? Anyone else interested in dabbling in pickling? We could learn together! Hmmm ... there is always YouTube!

In the meantime, I found this awesomely awesome ground beef and sauerkraut soup recipe at Kalyn’s Kitchen. If you’ve not visited Kalyn before, please take a moment to do so now. She authors an amazing blog full of really terrific recipes. I’ve made many a dish from her repertoire, and I’m always satisfied with the results. This bowl of goodness is no exception. As we all do with each other’s recipes, I tweaked this just a bit by adding some rice and modifying the procedures. The final product was so terrific, so tantalizing and tangy, that I’ll be adding this super soup to my regular weekly homemade soup rotation.I used my new "go to" meat ... ground beef from grass fed/pasture raised beef ... and jarred sauerkraut. The end result was like a tangy cabbage roll. Have you ever made Italian Beef using jarred pepperocini? You know how the pepperocini brine adds a certain somethin’-somethin’ to it? Well, the sauerkraut does the same thing here. While plain chopped cabbage would make a wonderful soup, the sauerkraut kicks it up a notch or two with additional depth of flavor. I just adore it.

Here’s the recipe adapted from Kalyn’s. In addition to slightly altering the ingredients, I modified the cooking procedure, too. I think you'll love it. Like many recipes here at It's All Gouda, this is gluten-free, all the way, baby!

Ground Beef and Sauerkraut Soup

1 lb. very grass fed/pasture raised ground beef
3 tsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cups homemade chicken stock
2 14 oz. cans beef broth (Note: I didn’t have any beef broth, so I used 3 cups chix broth and 1 cup water)
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 14 oz. jar sauerkraut with juice
1 additional cup water
1 T brown sugar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
3 dried bay leaves
3 T minced parsley
1 tsp. rubbed sage
1 cup cooked rice
fresh ground black pepper to taste
Seasoned salt (if desired)

In large dutch oven, heat the olive oil, adding ground beef breaking into small pieces with turner. When almost done browning, add the onion and garlic. Saute just a couple of minutes to soften. Drain if needed (I didn’t have any fat in the pan). Next, add the chicken and beef stocks, canned tomatoes, sauerkraut, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, parsley and sage. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook for one hour. After 1 hour, add additional water. Cook for an additional hour. Add the cooked rice about ½ hour or so before the soup is done. Season with pepper and seasoned salt if desired.Isn’t it pretty? Are you tantalized? Um, I won’t ask if you’re tangy. Too much information. Back to the soup ... I love how it smells! I love how it tastes! I find the two hour simmering really breaks down the meat in a very favorable way. I enjoy the ratio of broth to filling here, too. All in all, a very tangy tummy tantalizer!

PS: On another subject, it’s CYO basketball season here at It’s All Gouda. My youngest daughter has decided to leap into the frenzy this year. Although her first love is soccer, she’s having a great time playing hoops.Uh, sweetie, this is what we call a foul. Yep, that’s my daughter, #4, enthusiastically wrapping all 55 lbs of herself around the player in possession of the ball. Yeh, the refs called it. After the game, she told me that she fouled her on purpose to stop the play. I’d say she succeeded. :-) Love it! Oh, and she doesn't just dish it out ... she takes it, too.Check out the forearm to her back! The coaches are really good about correcting both of these moves. This is 5th grade, recreational level play, and the kids are all learning how to play. It's SO MUCH FUN watching them spread their wings! They are having a great time on the court!


Bellini Valli said...

I'd never have thought of adding sauerkraut to soup, but it does make perfect sense. I have never made sauerkraut but plenty of pickled onions and beets in my time.My daughter played volleyball for years and it was always fun to go to the games.

Kalyn said...

Your soup looks delicious! Now I'm wondering why I never thought of adding rice to this (for phase two for me.) Great idea! Thanks for the nice words about my blog too.

grace said...

alas, but sauerkraut does mean, mean things to me and i just can't eat it. sounds like a tasty soup, though!
and for the record, basketball rules. :)

Cathy said...

I'm always looking for a new hearty soup recipe. Thanks for this one, Paula. It's on this weeks menu list and I can't wait to try it.

Anonymous said...

I make a soup a little like this but use a ham bone or chorizo sausage. The rice looks like a nice touch.

Manggy said...

Oh, I know zip about pickling too... I just throw it in the fridge and throw it out after more than a week or so :) Great soup you have there, I need it to warm me up now!
I didn't know intentional fouls were tactical. Shows how much I know!

George Gaston said...

Paula, I have never fixed sauerkraut before, but your soup looks so hearty & delicious I might have to give it a try. Thanks

And good luck to the basketball star, too.

Cheryl said...

Glad you are back! I am afraid to watch both those movies, but I will try! This soup, my gosh, memories, my mom used to make this when I was a kid, I am so going to try it!

Marjie said...

The soup looks terrific on a cold, rainy night. And I wouldn't have thought of your tiny girl playing basketball, but if it gets her moving and happy, that's great!

"Guppy" Honaker said...

It's so exciting to find a glouton-free recipe that actually looks appetizing!

Keep up the good work on you blog. - David

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noble pig said...

Yep, lots of calcium in cabbage. I posted the sauerkraut recipe on my site that I grew up with, it's so, so good. But I love the idea of a soup.

Deborah said...

I would have never thought about this combination, but it does look delicious!

Pam said...

What an interesting and flavorful soup - I've never heard of this before.

Kevin said...

I always enjoy sauerkraut but I never seem to know what to do with it. This soup sounds like a really nice way to enjoy some. Sauerkraut is another form of fermented cabbage similar to kimchi.

Lynda said...

I'm not a sauerkraut eater, but I do love cabbage...but your soup looks delicious, so I may have to experiment!
Your daughter looks like she's really enjoying herself! My kiddos played BB, and I loved going to their games-it was a blast!

The Blonde Duck said...

You're back!

Lo said...

We've also been trying to eat more cultured & fermented foods. I have a great local source for saurkraut -- but should really learn to make it myself, since it would be worlds cheaper!!

That soup looks wonderful. Just ate our saurkraut on corned beef sammiches last night... but soup would've hit the spot.

Sook said...

I love rice in soup! This looks like a great soup! And the sauerkraut! Just brilliant!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

our weather is perfectly suited to more soups at the moment - one of the bonuses of feeling the winter cold!

maggie said...

This soup looks wonderful. I haven't yet made sauerkraut, but I've read great reviews of a book called Wild Fermentation that covers all sorts of live-culture foods.