Friday, May 25, 2012

Stoup! There it is

Rachel Ray is attributed with coining the term "stoup" to describe a one-pot meal thicker than soup and thinner than stew and it seems to have caught on. I like the word, but feel compelled to pronounce it with a German "sh" before the "t" to make it even more fun and then eligible for my favorite words list.

I was searching for a soup recipe with broccoli rabe around Easter because nothing says spring more to me than a bowl of rich greens. I found a Rachel Ray recipe that caught my eye. I've made it twice now and it's a keeper, so I wanted to share it with you.

I rarely make a recipe just as I find it since most of the fun in cooking for me is researching through my cookbooks and recipes online, analyzing the ingredients, and thinking about what I would do differently to tweak the tastes and make it my own. This recipe revision is already a favorite.

And it's not just me, foodie that I am. My youngest daughter was home to visit the last time I made the recipe and she ate three large pasta bowls full of this stoup! Two at dinner, and then one later for a snack! My son-in-law, hubby, and I also did a good job ourselves with making a dent in the full pot. Mmm, this stoup must be good, huh?

Stoupy goodness that warms the heart and soul.

Meatball and Broccoli Rabe Stoup


  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds broccoli rabe, 1 large bunch, trimmed and cut into large bite-sized pieces (I like extra rabe, so I added two large bunches the first time I made this; the second time I used one large bunch, fresh, along with a bag of frozen rabe that I had found at Whole Foods. Still delicious with frozen.)
  • Salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, 1 minced, 3 chopped (Eh, I just chopped it all.)
  • 1 lb. shredded or grated carrots (Rachel called for 1 carrot, peeled and chopped. That wasn't enough for me, so I threw in the whole pound. I like some carrot in my stoup.)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (I used 1 large.)
  • 1 can white beans, cannellini (The last time I added an additional can of beans, garbanzo. The more beans, the stoupier, I say.)
  • Black pepper
  • 1 quart chicken stock (I use Trader Joe's organic low sodium.)
  • 2 cups beef or vegetable stock (I use Imagine brand organic low sodium beef stock from Wegman's, along with the cooking liquid from the broccoli rabe.)
  • 1/3 pound orecchiette, little ear-shaped pasta, or ditalini (Orecchiette has a tendency to stack and stick together, so you need to stir frequently. Still turned out well, but I'll use ditalini next time.)
  • 1 pound organic ground beef (Rachel calls for veal, but the beef works better for me.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls (I use Trader Joe's organic bread crumbs. Nothing artificial, no preservatives.)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano, a generous handful, plus some to pass at table
  • 2 to 3 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped (Fresh if you have it, dried works well also. Don't forget to experiment and use any herb you like to your own taste.)
  • Crusty bread, for mopping


Bring a couple of inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt to boiling water and the broccoli rabe and cook 7 to 8 minutes. Rachel says to drain the rabe and reserve. I reserved the cooking liquid also. There's just so much goodness in there, why throw this down the drain? I use this cooking liquid as part of my 2 cups of beef plus vegetable stock fluids.

While rabe cooks, heat a medium soup pot over medium to medium high heat with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Add 3 cloves chopped garlic, grated carrots, and onions. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, add white beans and heat through, a minute. Season veggies and beans with salt and pepper. Add drained rabe and the stocks and cover pot to bring to a quick boil. Add orecchiette or ditalini and stir. Reduce heat and simmer soup to a low-roll, uncovered.

Mix beef with egg, remaining clove minced garlic, bread crumbs, cheese, sage, salt, and pepper. Roll into 1-inch balls and drop into stoup. Cook 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve stoup in shallow bowls with crusty bread.

A generous sprinkling of Parmigiano cheese and that good, crusty bread to sop it all up make this a perfect meal to satisfy your soul. So make a pot and enjoy this stoup with your family. And when you call them to the table, you can say, "Sshtoup, there it is!"

Until next time, yours in cooking and fun...Therese

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