So my husband is a true grill master & a few days back he blessed us with a fine meal including some delicious steaks seasoned & grilled to perfection like only he can do. There were a couple of T-Bones & several New York Strip steaks that he’d found for a good deal at Sams. So I saved all the bones & fat &/or gristle scraps, before the dog got the remnants of our feast, & generously trimmed off the fat from the remaining steaks that would provide leftover meals for a couple of us later. These would be the foundation for another rendition of Steak Soup.
I also saved the drippings from the platter & plates and rinsed these dishes a few times into the soup pot before the dog got the joy of plate licking. This particular soup pot was the one that my husband had used to make mashed potatoes in, so I didn’t clear all the mashies residue from the pot before adding water & the remains of the beef gravy (from a jar) that he had heated in another saucepan to go over those mashies. That gravy pan was thoroughly rinsed into the soup pot as well. Adding the meat & bone scraps & filling the soup pot about 3/4 full of water this was simmered on the stove for a few hours before removing the solids & cooling everything off to complete the soup on another day.
Soup day I cut up some baby carrots into slivers & added them to the pot. There was 1/2 of a large onion in the fridge so that was chopped & put in the pot too. There were some cloves of garlic, about a half dozen or so, that I smashed then chopped & added to the pot. We had a large potato that I cleaned & chopped into about 1″ cubes & put in the pot. There was a head of broccoli that I chopped into about 1″ pieces & set aside to add near the end of cooking. The woody end of the bunch of broccoli I trimmed off the tough outer layer & then chopped the lighter, tender part of the stalk into roughly 1″ pieces and added to the pot. We had some stalks of fresh thyme from a previous recipe so I dropped them in the pot too. There were some leftover Knorr noodles from another meal that I loosely cut up & added to the pot near the end of cooking, along with the crown portion of the broccoli pieces. We also had a small can of mushrooms which, along with its liquid, was added to the stock pot as well. This creation was seasoned with garlic salt, pepper, Chicago Steak Seasoning, & some minced dried onion.
While everything but the noodles & broccoli crown pieces were simmering I proceeded to pick through the meat remnants from the initial cooking process. This is a pain-staking & back-wrenching process for me as I attempt to separate virtually every meat fiber from either the bone, fat, or gristle scraps which go to the dog. I find it easier to do this when the meat is cold & I do the bulk of the separation by feel. The container that had held the meat scraps was also rinsed, & even heated in the microwave, to get the majority of the meat residue into the pot before the dog gets to lick it. The dogs &/or cats we’ve owned have always enjoyed soup making (meat-picking) day more than I have!
Anyway, the noodles & broccoli crowns were added to the pot for a few minutes of cooking or heating through & the seasonings were adjusted. I’d hoped to dash in some Worcestershire Sauce but couldn’t find it. Ultimately we served the soup with some grated cheddar cheese & some of us also had crackers. My husband dipped some crusty bread (baguette?) into the broth as he was eating it. We each seasoned our individual bowls to our taste at the table, though only a small amount of seasoning was needed.
Overall this soup actually was pretty well received. My husband, in particular, said it was one of my better soup creations (though I did point out that I just really used what we had on hand). Each of the kids made a point of raving about how good the soup was & most people had seconds. There was enough for a filling meal for the five of us & perhaps 2 luncheon portions of leftovers. This was a pretty hearty soup & good.
In the future it would be even better flavor-wise to fry up the meat scraps (the fat & gristle portion, removing them from the pan before frying up the veggies) to extract what grease is available (or perhaps by skimming the fat off the top of the cooled broth) & then to fry up the veggies before adding them to the pot, though this would necessitate picking the meat apart sooner in the process. Also, I usually use either pasta water or potato water as a soup base if possible, or add some broth if we have some left from other recipes, instead of just plain tap water (I also try to collect any veggie cooking water to add to the stock saved in the fridge in in soup-making preparation). I’d been thinking of adding some milk or half-and-half, whatever we had in the fridge, to make it a bit of a cream soup but by the time all the veggies & meat were in the pot it was just too full (I actually had to heat some of the noodles in our individual bowls for the first few servings for there wasn’t initially room for the Knorr noodles in the pot without taking out a few servings first)–I guess getting a large enough pot to contain all one’s culinary creativity & spontaneity might be paramount!
- Leavings of a well seasoned & grilled steak dinner (bones, fat, & trimmings)
- Seasonings (garlic salt, pepper, Chicago Steak, thyme, beef gravy, bouillon, etc)
- Pre-cooked noodles on hand
- Sufficient water or stock to fill the pot
Simmer steak leavings in water or broth for a few hours, adding liquid to pot as needed. Remove solids from pot & cool overnight, or for a few days, as needed.
Pick all usable meat from the solids & break/cut into desired bite size pieces.
Skim congealed fat from pot & place in a skillet, fry up chosen veggies, especially garlic, onion, potato, & carrots, etc. in fat, seasoning to taste while cooking.
Heat broth to a simmer & return steak & veggies to pot. Add noodles & simmer until (cooked if using raw noodles) heated through. Add more delicate vegetables, like broccoli crowns, near very end of cooking, minutes before serving. Taste test.
Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, crackers, &/or crusty bread to dip in broth.
Variations could include adding celery, various bell peppers with Swiss cheese (think like Philly Steak & Cheese), canned corn, tomatoes, beans, peas, milk or half-&-half to make a creamy version, rice, ramen or egg noodles, or whatever suits your fancy. Always season to taste but don’t over-season to allow flavor fine-tuning at the table. I tend to include whatever we have on hand that sounds good at the time!