Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hurly Burly Stew


     I came up with the idea for this soup when I had some things in my fridge that needed to be used up.  It was cold and I wanted some type of soup or stew. I remember my aunt and my father telling me that my Grandmother Binns used to make soup with stuff she had leftover in the fridge.  A lot of the usual stuff and she called it something like "icebox soup".  Now I am not claiming that this is anywhere close to it, but the idea reminded me of that story. 
     The name Hurly Burly is also of some significance to my Grandma Binns. She used to tap and drum on our backs as a kid and sing this song.  The song actually comes from an old Irish camping game that people played.

"Hurly Burly trump the trace,
The cow ran through the market place.
Simon alley hunt the buck,
How many horns stand up?"

     The idea was to drum this song on someone’s back as they were blindfolded and then ask him or her to guess the number of fingers the drummer is holding up, (how many horns?) This game continued around the campfire until the person got it right. This soup is given the name because, "can you guess how many horns stand up?" (What is in it?)  That's it.  You can put in this soup anything you want.  That is the beauty of it, whatever is in your refrigerator. Soup is just that, whatever you decide to put in. So, can you guess how many "horns" is in this soup?  Below you will find a simple description of what I placed in this soup.  It was what I had leftover in my fridge.

  • 1/2 lb beef stew
  • 1 large potato diced
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1-cup baby carrots
  • 1 10oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 orange Hungarian pepper diced
  • 1 red mini red pepper diced
  • 1 handful of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 sage leaf diced
  • Little white wine
  • Salt/pepper

     I started out in a large sauté pan or pot by cooking the onion and carrots over a little olive oil until the onion is tender.  I then took the beef stew cubes placed them in a brown paper bag, spooned some flour, salt and pepper in, closed bag and shook until all the beef was covered lightly with the flour.  I then dumped the beef into the pan to brown it. Add in the stock and white wine and bring to a simmer.  Toss in the crushed tomatoes, diced peppers, diced sage leaf, diced potato, and bring to a simmer.  Cover and let cook for about 30 minutes adding a bit of water here and there when it thickens up to add a bit of liquid.  Toss in the baby spinach, simmer for another 15 minutes, salt and pepper to taste, and serve with some delicious crusty bread. This "fridge" soup or "leftover" soup is perfect when you don't know what to cook.  Just take whatever you have in your fridge and throw it in the pot for soup. So, can you guess how many horns stand up? Perfect! Serves 2-4 people. 

Grandma Binns and I on her porch

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