You can guess that my soon-to-be-mother-in-law (that's a mouthful) is pretty great, when I tell you that I randomly received not one, but TWO Le Creuset french ovens earlier this week. They are one of those things that I haven't pulled the trigger on (kind of like the One King's Lane placemats), but have wanted for a long long long time.
Naturally, I had to put them to good use this weekend! I was craving something hearty, healthy, and yummy - soup! I adapted this recipe from The Pioneer Woman after searching pinterest for "paleo Le Creuset".
Lucky me, I had everything I needed for the foundation of the recipe in the fridge; even celery, why did I have celery in the fridge? Who knows... I also needed to use up some ground hamburger that had been in our freezer since October. Even though it was on its last leg, I didn't dare throw it out, since it was one of our cows, and was butchered by Greg (the beef they grind up here tastes so different than what you can buy at the store, it has a higher fat content and undergoes zero processing).
I'm lovingly naming this recipe: 'kitchen dump soup', because I literally diced up everything we had in the kitchen, and dumped it into the pot. You could easily do the same. If you don't have sweet potatoes, sub in some beans or quinoa. If you want to keep things lean and mean, sub turkey for beef, and nix the bacon. The results: mouth-watering!
Paleo Kitchen Dump Soup
- 3 celery stalks
- 1 large yellow onion
- 4 strips of bacon
- 2 pounds ground beef (or meat of choice)
- 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (not paleo)
- 2 large juicy tomatoes - roughly chopped (or 1 can roasted)
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 sweet potato - roughly chopped (the difference between a sweet potato and a yam)
- 4 carrots - peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 carton stock (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Seasoning to taste (salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, etc...)
- Anything else you might have in your fridge that needs to be used up!
Start by taking out your favorite soup pot (you know what mine is!), dice up the celery and onion into small pieces, mince the garlic, and roughly chop up the bacon.
Turn the heat to high and add the bacon into the pot. Let it crisp up and leave little brown bits on the bottom (aka liquid gold). Once your bacon is crisped, add the onion, garlic, and celery. Sauté them together until the onion and celery are soft (about 5 minutes).
Use a wooden spoon to scoot the contents of your soup onto the outer rim of your pot so that you have a large hole in the center; then place 1/3 of your beef into that 'donut hole'. Let the beef sizzle until it browns. It's important not to skip this part - like a bolognese sauce - this is where all of your flavor will come from.
Once your first 1/3 is browned, scoot it to the outskirts of the pot with the celery and onions, then add another 1/3. Repeat this until all of your beef is browned and you have a coating of 'liquid gold' on the bottom of your pot.
Add in the stock and stir contents of the soup so that everything becomes incorporated. Once the soup begins to simmer, use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom.
Add the rest of the ingredients, whatever they may be. I added beans, tomato paste, chopped sweet potato, chopped tomatoes, diced carrots, and a healthy amount of dried thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir everything up, and let her simmer for at least one hour (up to three).
The soup's in your court now...