Recipe of the Month
This is a soup that I remember from my childhood. Its name comes from the fact that when this dish is well made it falls somewhere between a stew and a soup and is a hearty meal all by itself, accompanied only by a piece of freshly made and well-buttered corn-bread.
I thought it was a family recipe and had no idea that it might he an African-American staple until one cold winter's day when I dropped in on a friend of my mother's. She apologized for not having anything more to offer and then proceeded to ladle up one of my favorite things, homemade soup straight from the pot. I was amazed to find that the taste was exactly the same. We compared notes and discovered that she, too, was from Virginia and had also grown up with this dish.
2 pounds beef. soup bones or 4 to 5 meaty leftover steak bones
4 quarts water
I teaspoons crushed dry thyme
Salt and ,freshy ground black pepper to taste
6 large carrots, sliced
2 cups sliced rutabaga
2 onions, quarted
2 stalks celery, diced
4 medium-sized potatoes, cup into '/2-inch dice
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
Place the bones, water, seasonings. carrots, rutabaga, onions, and celery in a large stockpot, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 1 hour. Then add the potatoes and tomato paste and continue to cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes and rutabagas are fork-tender.
Remove the bones, pick the meat off them, and return the meat to the stoup, discarding the bones. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, then adjust the seasonings and serve hot. If you're feeling fancy, this soup is wonderful with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on the top.
submitted by Marvin Billups