Barbara Bretton

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Kansas City Steak Soup, NJ Style

Kansas City is one of my favorite places. I was there for the first time in 1985. Roy had to go there on business and I tagged along. (One of the best things about being a writer: have keyboard, can travel.) Anyway, aside from the frequent tornado warnings that almost turned my hair grey and the breathtaking dark green of the rolling lawns, I discovered the wonders of steak soup. Yes, I'm mostly vegetarian. But yes, there are still certain carnivorous delights that occasionally call to me. (We won't discuss ethics and scruples. Thank you.)

Anyway, I've had the pleasure of returning to K.C. a number of times to attend MARA's wonderful conference and during one of those visits a good friend presented me with the recipe for Plaza III Steak Soup.

I owe her big time.

Here, with a few minor alterations to the original recipe, is my version:

Kansas City Steak Soup, NJ Style


4 T butter
1 / 2 C flour
20 ounces beef broth (College Broth is wonderful)
1/4 C carrot, diced
1/4 C celery, diced
1/2 C onions, diced
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes (or Chi Chi's)
3/4 t Kitchen Bouquet (or Gravy Master or skip this entirely)
Black pepper
Bag of frozen mixed vegetables (maybe 10 ounces? The amount is really up to you)
1/2 pound ground beef

In separate pan, brown the ground beef until fully cooked. Drain. (I even rinse away the fat but that's my own peculiarity.)

Melt butter in medium soup pot. Don't brown! Add flour and stir to form a smooth roux. Cook mixture over medium heat, without browning for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth to the roux and stir until smooth and slightly thickened. Bring to a full boil. Add fresh vegetables, tomatoes, and seasonings and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are barely tender. Maybe 20 minutes? Add frozen vegetables and cooked ground beef. Simmer an additional 15 minutes.

Of course you'll serve this in a hollowed-out bread bowl, right?


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