Yes, you CAN cook a great beef soup for football games.
Sunday. Even without cable/satellite, you’ve usually got almost 10 straight hours of football. You’ve gotta eat at some point right? Go to the cabinet and grab a can of beef soup? As they’d say on ESPN ===>
You can do better than that. You can do fresher than that. You can do healthier than that.
Recently Fooducate, a site I read frequently, posted an article about Campbell’s Chunky soup being marketed to football fans. The business relationship between the NFL and Campbells has lead alot of football fans to choose soup as their in-game meal choice. But as the article points out, there are alot of ingredients in their soups you don’t have at your house. Plus, unless there is a nuclear war or we get hit by an asteroid, I don’t eat canned soup. You don’t have to either.
Men. You can make a great soup from scratch.
Just 20 minutes to prep. Four hours cooking time that you don’t even have to do anything about.
And… this beef soup has beer in it!
You’ll want to choose a stout beer. It’s fall, after all, and a pilsner or lager won’t hold up in a meaty soup like this. I chose Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout, which is an absolute classic. But you can choose whichever stout you prefer.
I know you want to make your time in the kitchen as short as possible, so as the water is getting up to a boil you can use that time to chop your vegetables and the beef. Here’s an easy way to chop your onions. Cut them in half vertically, then cut each half into quarter slices as in the picture to the left. Then slice across those cuts. It’s quick and easy.
If you check out that Fooducate article again you can see the complete ingredients list. Check out the “flavoring” ingredients. “Enzyme modified butterfat”? What is that? I mean, look how many ingredients are in “Enzyme Modified Cheese”. Not even close to natural.
Obviously you want some flavor and seasoning in any soup. Since we’re making soup FOR MEN, we’ll spice it FOR MEN.
You like grilling a big ol’ steak, right?
Then you most likely have a good steak rub in your cabinet. Since we want this soup to emphasize the steak, using spicing meant for grilling a steak is perfect.
I had a couple of different options in my spice rack area and I chose the Smokehouse Rub. (There’s that beer again. Strange, it seems less full.) The ingredients are simple and pronounceable: good stuff like sea salt, brown sugar, onion, garlic and black pepper. And that’s the way your food should be… pronounceable.
This is a slow cooker (Crock Pot) recipe, so your actual “cooking” takes no effort.
So you’ll take about 20 minutes to prep the meal, which is just cutting and measuring stuff. You put it all in the crock pot for 4 hours and you’re ready to feast without missing a minute of game time. In fact, you can do all the prep before the pre-game show and your beef soup will be done right around the beginning of the second game. Just In Time.
Ooops… definitely have to be careful when choosing ingredients.
There can be hidden sources of unwanted ingredients if you’re not careful.
Only when I was calculating the nutritional information for this recipe did I discover the high level of sodium in the vegetable buoillon I chose. I purchased Rapunzel Vegetable Bouillon with sea salt. The sodium per serving of this soup just from the bouillon is 1,400 mg. Yikes! Had I chosen their Vegan Vegetable No Salt Added, that number would have been a nice low 173 mg. So the recipe specifically calls for a no salt added bouillon. There will almost assuredly be some salt in your rub plus with all the other flavors, you don’t need to drown your soup in salt.