|Taste the soup ... ah-HA!|
Another in an irregular series of comfort food recipes. I mentioned the history of this soup/meal over a year ago, but never got around to posting the Real Thing. One thing I forgot to mention back then was that a couple of potatoes were also thrown in, so this soup is a mucho carbo-load. Don't plan on feeling hungry again for a few days.
Because I thought there was "something" missing in the taste, I brought some of the soup's flanken to work the other day and
So I re-sampled a sample and ...
... decided she was absolutely right! Thanks, Pat! I owe you one. The recipe below has been corrected.
The soup is rather thin at the end of cooking time. It will thicken up when refrigerated and taste much better if reheated and served the next day. You can also wait and serve the flanken the next day as well, but it's really hard to wait that long.
Way back in the last century (before 1971), before the electric slow cooker was invented, my mom would make a batch of this soup and let it sit on the back burner at its lowest setting for hours on end. Even as a kid I would lose sleep worrying that the soup might boil over and put out the flame. The burners on our ancient stove ( technically it was just a cooktop since the oven part hadn't worked for years and had been recommissioned as a storage cabinet) were famous for periodically going out right in the middle of cooking, especially if no one was around, filling the kitchen with fumes. And not in a good way. Eventually I got older, got married and got an electric slow cooker. Now I lose sleep over the kids instead.
3-in-1 Soup (Barley Soup with Flanken and Potatoes) - Easy
Yield: 4 servings of soup, 3-4 servings of flanken and potato, and leftovers for the next day
3-4 flanken ribs (about 2 lbs. total)
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 (tube) package of bean and barley soup (or mushroom-barley soup)
1 bay leaf
5 to 6 cups of water, room temperature or heated to boiling
Arrange flanken in a single layer on the bottom of a 6- or 7-quart slow cooker. The flanken ribs I used were large so I cut them in half to fit more better.
Place the potato chunks on top.
Rinse and drain the contents of the large soup packet (reserve small packet for later). Add to the cooker. Drop in a bay leaf.
Ignore package directions and add only 5 or 6 cups of water, depending upon the size of your slow cooker. Fill the cooker about three-quarters of the way up, the maximum safe level.
Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours (mine was done at the 5-hour mark). About 15 minutes before you finish cooking, uncover and add the contents of the reserved packet. Recover and continue to cook for 15 more minutes.
|Nom nom nom!|
Turn the cooker off. Gently plate meat (if it hadn't already, the bones will separate from the meat as you pick it up). Add 3-4 chunks of potato to each plate. Serve immediately.
Just hand out forks, the meat will be so tender that knives will not be necessary.
Allow soup to cool slightly. Carefully transfer soup and any remaining potato chunks to a covered container. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, scoop out the thick layer of congealed fat. If'/when the soup is thick enough to slice with a knife or if extra people show up for dinner, add a cup or two of water to thin it out slightly. Nuke the soup or transfer to a 3-quart saucepan and heat to a simmer.
|And don't forget the spoon this time.|
Ladle hot soup into bowls and serve. Pure comfort food!