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It's Friday So It Must Be Soup! My Mom's Beef Vegetable Soup Rethunk

My mom used to make a really fabulous soup that was full of stewing beef, tomatoes and cabbage and I never learned how to make it. I think my sister knows how but I never really paid enough attention because I was all about the fancy pants food and this was just a plain old soup to me. Now that she is gone, I really miss it and keep meaning to ask my sister if she can show me how mom made it but , of course, I keep forgetting. A container of leftover braised pot roast with espresso and balsamic got me thinking that maybe I could make something like her soup with that because I am not crazy about pot roast in the first place and I really just made it for the boys and am always stumped with the leftovers. I was happy to find a use for it that was less pot roasty and more soupy. You can use less cabbage if you aren't crazy about cabbage but I love the stuff so I used quite a bit.
I knew that there was beef, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots and celery but I couldn't remember what spices she might have used or if she made beef stock from bones or not. In the end, it came out tasting enough like my mom's soup that I think I have paid proper tribute to her but just different enough that it's still my own. I also love that, unlike her delicious soup that cooked all day, if you have some leftover roast, this one only took about an hour from start to finish. I will have to ask my sister to show me the recipe one of these days.

Beef and Cabbage Soup

glug olive oil
2 large shallots or 1 small onion, diced
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced celery
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1/2 small to medium head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
6 cups of stock, water or a mix of both (I used chicken because I always use chicken)
796 ml (28 fl oz) can plum tomatoes
2 to 2 1/2 cups of leftover pot roast, chopped and shredded
2/3 cup leftover pot roast gravy (if you don't have any leftover gravy, just add more stock)
2 sprigs of fresh thyme

Heat up a big soup pot over med heat and add a glug of olive oil - not a ton, maybe a couple of tbls. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften and then add the carrot, celery and garlic. Continue to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring and keeping an eye on it so nothing burns. Add the cabbage and stir that all around for another minutes before adding the stock. When you add the canned tomatoes, crush the tomatoes with your fingers as you add them - you want some chunks, not pureed tomato. Now add your leftover roast beef and stir in the gravy, add the thyme and bring to a boil and then turn down and let it simmer until the cabbage is soft, about half an hour or so. Because it's soup you can let it cook a bit longer and it won't really hurt it.

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