One young Catholic family on a Journey towards Intentional and Communal Sustainability. One Artist, one full time Mama and two babies, we'll tell you about all our successes, and failures, as we try to make it in our overly Consumeristic society on just the bare necessities.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Vegetable Beef soup with homemade noodles

I was a little strapped for time and meat tonight, and it so happens that I haven't been so good about planning our meals lately.  But what evolved was wonderful!

Vegetable Beef Soup with Homemade Egg Noodles
1 quart jar chicken or beef stock.  I had chicken, so I used chicken
2 lbs organic hamburger
1 medium onion, cut up roughly
2 cloves garlic, plus some garlic greens from the garden
2 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
large handful of purple garden kale
2 cans (or jars if you were good enough to can your own last year) diced tomatoes.  Or fresh, but it's not that hot yet!
Lots of thyme.  I don't know how much I used.  My sister in law gave me a packet of organic thyme that she used for 1 meal and barely touched.  I used maybe half that package tonight.  It was a lot.  I like thyme- a lot.
salt and pepper

Saute the onions in butter until they're just starting to be see-thru in a separate skillet.  Add a pinch of salt, stir a bit, then add the hamburger
Saute until brown with the garlic, crushed
Chop up the kale and throw on the hamburger at the very end, and lid it, so it just wilts a little.
In the pot simmer your stock, and some extra water if necessary.
Add carrots and celery and let simmer for a little while.  Then add the tomatoes.  Bring it back up to temperature, then de-glaze the hamburger skillet with the stock.  Once all the goo is deliciously in your stock, transfer the hamburger goo to the pot and wash your skillet.
Add the thyme and salt and pepper.  Then bring it to a bubble, but not boiling, to add your noodles.

While it's getting to that nice and hot, make your noodles.  This is super easy!  I'll tell you what I did, but honestly, it's all about taste and trial and error, and it's pretty much IMPOSSIBLE to get wrong.  I prefer homemade noodles BY FAR to store bought for things like soups and stews.  Spaghetti can be store bought for tomato sauce- which is rare- and quick lunches for famished toddlers.

1 cup of whole wheat flour, plus some.
1 egg (Val's egg made the noodles such a pretty yellow!  store eggs make them pretty white/brown)
about 2 tbsp olive oil- just add it slowly, you may need less or more
about 3 tbsp milk- again, add it slowly and judge it yourself
Some gluten just for kicks and to make it more doughy- just a sprinkle
White flour, or in my case I used rice flour, for rolling.  I had rice flour.  I did not have white flour.  It didn't seem to make a difference.

On a clean counter or large cutting board, build a hill of flour and your gluten sprinkle, with a nice little volcano in the middle.  You COULD do this in a bowl, too, but then, hey, what's the fun in that?  Extra dishes?
Crack your egg in the volcano.  Or if you're picky, in a bowl and mix it with a little milk first.  But it doesn't matter
Mash it a lot with your hands, adding oil first, then milk as needed, until you start to get it all to stick together.  Keep going.  Then Keep Going. It doesn't take long, maybe 10 minutes total- it took me 8 minutes tonight to go from start to perfect dough, and then about 2 minutes to roll it by hand.  WAY faster than boiling water at high altitudes.  Or is it that it boils faster here?  hmmm.. I can't remember, but it always seems to take too long!
When your dough is nice and NOT crumbly, go ahead and pull out  your rolling pin object (which is often a mason jar if my artist...ahem....husband has stolen my rolling pin again.  He's stolen 2 in the past, but I'll give him credit- I've had the same one in the kitchen for almost a year now!)  Roll it, flipping and turning it, on your counter or cutting board, and don't worry about the shape.  Just get it to about 1/8 inch thickness.
Pull out your pizza cutter, or fancy pasta cutter if you're one of those people- but then you're not reading my amateur guide to pasta, are you?  (Melissa!)  Use that pizza cutter to cut whatever shape you please, just uniform-ish if you can so they cook at the same rate.  They WILL grow in the pot, just like store noodles.  You can twist them, bowtie them, make them long and skinny or short and fat, I don't mind and won't tell!  Just enjoy!  I like making mine simple rectangles about 1 inch by 1/4 inch or so.  Easy to manage with a spoon, but bit enough to be a real bite.  Another option is just to make a whole bunch of tiny, tiny noodle pieces for your soup.  There's an Italian name for this.  I don't know it.  Make it up if you must!

When your water is nice a bubbly, but not boiling over the sides, add your noodles.  They take anywhere from 3-7 minutes to cook. Lightning fast!  See, making your own noodles may be messy, but honestly, it's WAY more of a toddler pleaser in so many ways!  Oh, and if she's in the mood, she can help too!
Valentine, the chicken, who gives us delicious eggs that I don't mind my children eating raw because I know they're safe!

Tonight, Bea helped.  By eating tiny pieces of raw dough that were in the wrong size/shape.  Yes, there's raw egg in there, and raw milk for that matter.  Do I care?  NO!  Because I know the chicken and the cow!


  1. You want to know a secret? I have always cut noodles with a paring knife! But, in case you think I am failing to Monk-out here, I always use a straight edge that I wash and keep in the drawer with the rolling pins (all four). ;)

  2. On a related note, I couldn't help but to think of you as I stumbled across this:

    1. Oh my gosh, you want to know something a bit sad? I really want that! Wood *AND* incremental measures? Oh, man!