green apothecary

A Jersey girl going local, green, and clean in Massachusetts; looking for delicious, sustainable, affordable, and healthy ways to do it.

Star Stock: The Soup Starter Strikes Back


We return, dear readers, to the story of our soup stock, one week later.

Today, we make soup!

I start with the frozen stock, or soup starter as my husband called it, and add the wine I forgot last time, about 1/4 cup of leftover pinot noir I’ve had in the fridge.


looks lovely, yes?

As the stock melts into the wine, I start thawing the beef that will be in my soup.


I had about two cups of store-bought beef broth in the fridge. And the beef is from the same farmer I got the soup bones from. It’s a skirt steak that was, well, more animal than we’re used to for making skirt steak. It could’ve been a skirt roast, from the texture and size.  The first time out the preparation was a bit of a bad fit for the cut so I saved it in the freezer for just this purpose.

I cut up the veg going in – the last of the carrots from the season’s last market (yes, that was two months ago, but not only do root veg have some staying power, but I use the Debbie Meyer green produce bags. The carrots were bright, flavorful and snapped easily), some potatoes from Maine, snap peas, and mushrooms.


The scraps will go into the compost bin.

I added 8 cups of water and the aromatics to the stock – garlic and shallots




and then added the enriched broth from the beef.


To the cutting board with the beef to turn into lovely bits for the soup.


And that drove Othello CRAZY.


So what’s a cat mom to do, I ask you?


Plus he’s so clamorously insistent, you’d give in, too!

I added the veg in two stages, to give the carrots and potatoes more time to break down. Turns out I only needed to do that for the carrots, but here’s all the veg just in. Carrots and potatoes have yet to float. I gave each round of addition – broth, veg stage1, veg stage2, 10 minutes to itself.


Then I added two bay leaves, dried parsley and Italian season mix, onion sea salt, garlic salt and powder, celery salt, white pepper, and a big pinch of grey sea salt.

I let that be for 15 minutes at a simmer and added the beef and 2/3 of a cup of barley.


Love barley. So much so that I always add too much. It absorbs so much liquid! I would’ve had enough at half a cup, and I knew that, but I can’t resist the barley.

A couple of hours later, voila – vegetable beef soup!


My model was, of course, Campbell’s vegetable beef soup; it was a favorite growing up. I swear, this is dead on, even though theirs did not have mushrooms and I did not have green beans and peas. YUM!

And here’s how much I got for my efforts:

That’s a lunch a week for 5 weeks, plus a cup on the side for half a lunch!

Very excited for some future lunches. My freezer, however, is starting to feel the strain!

Author: kzflynn

I'm a late blooming working mom trying to save the planet with my mind and my money.

4 thoughts on “Star Stock: The Soup Starter Strikes Back

  1. I love soup, so I always love a new recipe. This one looks delicious!! Do you like those produce bags? I’m thinking of getting them.

    • I do like them, Amy, because they work! the only annoying bit is the washing of them so you can keep using them. I try to do several at once so I can share the suds. other than that, I highly recommend them. once kept a bunch of fresh parsley good for almost a month!

  2. Only thing missing here is the smell! Looks wonderful. Where do you get the veggie bags? Do you have the machine that creates the air tight bags for freezing? That would save alot of space in your freezer.
    Keep going Kate, great posts!
    How can I hook up Claire to your blog? She is interested in reading and loves to cook. She made chocolate chip scones last week that looked fabulous. Good thing I am here and not her house I would not have resisted them.

    • oh for Smellovision! I think I got the veggie bags this time right in my regular store, on one of those displays in the produce section. I think I ordered them once from the Harriet Carter catalog as well.
      I did put the machine for air tight freezing on my wish list. Santa didn’t choose that this year!
      Claire should be able to subscribe on the front page. If you have trouble send me her email and I’ll enter it for her.
      send me pix of chocolate chip scones, please!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s