Last Minute Dinner – Italian Beef Soup


“A first-rate soup is better than a second-rate painting”
Abraham Maslow

It has been really a busy few weeks around here and while I have managed to get some great dinners together today is one of those late Sunday dinner decisions when we can’t make up our minds what to have and then I’m picky is probably the biggest reason.  So with that said I finally settled on a quick beef soup made in the Instant Pot and certainly very adaptable as far as your vegetable choices go, but for me today, a big leek finely diced, two cloves of chopped garlic, 2 ribs of celery, finely diced, 2 sliced or diced carrots, a few chopped fresh and diced canned tomatoes. The other ingredients today a splash of white wine, a hearty beef stock, a mushroom base (better than bouillon) and fresh herbs complete the soup.  I usually serve with my favorite comfy acini de Pepe noodles, but tonight extra thin Cipriani tagliatelle the cooks in two minutes.  You can use any kind of small noodle including acini de Pepe, tubetti, or broken vermicelli, but they will take longer to cook under pressure so you might cook them separately and add hot pasta to bowls and pour soup over.

It took about 30 minutes because I started with a chunk of beef that was frozen…

2 pounds of chuck roast, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 leek, white part only finely diced
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, sliced or diced
2 ribs of celery, peeled and small diced
3 cup hearty beef stock
1 teaspoon mushroom base
1 can diced tomatoes
4 small tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup white or red wine
3 small bay leaves
a 1-inch sprig of rosemary
1 thyme sprig or a sprinkle of dried thyme
a sprinkle of Italian seasoning
*Optional 1 small cheese rind
Salt and pepper

I partially defrosted the beef in the microwave, seasoned with salt and pepper, browned on both sides added 1/2 cup white wine to deglaze the pan, poured in about 2 cups of broth, add all of the fresh or dried herbs and cooked it under high pressure for 18 minutes.  Quick-release the pressure and if the beef is shreddable at this point go ahead and shred it and place back into the pot, but if not it can be shredded after the second cooking time.  Quick-release the pressure and all of the remaining ingredients manually set the pressure to 10 minutes or if you already shredded the beef and added it back, set the soup setting – 10 minutes.

I added the broken extra thin tagliatelle to the hot soup and simmered for 2 minutes…serve piping hot with grated cheese and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a little spiciness.