Pot Roast Soup


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pot roast soupFebruary was a cruel cold month. I craved comfort and warmth, and turned to the kitchen, making breads, stews, and casseroles, both favorites and experimental.

One of the best experiments turned an indifferent pot roast (yes, I have kitchen failures) into an exquisitely delicious soup.

Do you have leftover pot roast? Are you ready to turn it into something incredible? Ready to experiment a bit?

Read on, this soup’s for you.

I began with Stupendously Simple Beef, a ridiculously easy pot roast that usually is delicious and tender. This time, however, it wasn’t. I’m pretty sure I made a simple error with the cooking time. You’d think I could add 5 to some number and get the right answer, but hey, it was cold, okay? I goofed. So I refrigerated the meat and the cooking liquid separately, and 2 days later, made this pot of wonderful. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be making extra pot roasts in future, just to be able to make this soup.


Pot Roast Soup

I started with the leftovers from a 3-pound pot roast, and ended up with 3-4 quarts of soup. Just pull out a medium-large pot and you can’t go wrong.  

  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 stalks celery
  • the liquid left from cooking the pot roast, refrigerated and fat removed
  • leftover cooked beef – as noted above, I used leftover pot roast, cut in small pieces
  • tomato juice or V8
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 c chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 c barley or rice (uncooked)
  • additional beef stock, water, or water + bouillon cube
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: anything else that might be leftover in your fridge that you think would be good in the soup. Really. This is a great place to put leftover green beans, corn, and the like.

Prep the vegetables: chop the onion, peel and slice carrots, slice celery.

Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a 4-quart soup pot. Add the onions and cook them over medium heat 4-5 minutes, until they are translucent but not browned. Add carrots and celery and cook a bit more, then add the leftover beef and the de-fatted liquid from cooking the pot roast.

Add at least 1 1/2 cups more liquid – this can be any combination of tomato juice, V8, water, or beef stock – whatever is convenient. Add in uncooked barley if you’ll be using it. Add some chopped diced tomatoes, if you like. The liquid should cover the solids by at least an inch.

Add bay leaves and chopped parsley. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, at least 30 minutes. The barley or rice should be cooked and tender. Taste and season as you wish with salt and pepper. If you’re adding any leftover grains or noodles, add them in now.

Soup. It’s good to have in cruel cold weather.