Hearty ranch style beef soup

November is a good time to begin to make those great all in one soup meals that are as much comfort foods as nutritious fare. The beef in this dish was historically part of the less glamorous but none the less coveted parts of the cow. The Chamorro (beef shank) has its very own rich and distinctive flavor that blends wonderfully with the fresh vegetables it is associated with most often.


Two pounds of Chamorro, about 4 pieces (beef shank, bone in) cut thin
One and one half liters of water
Two large white onions each cut into four pieces
Two cloves garlic
Salt to taste
One small green cabbage cut into four pieces
Two carrots cut in half (peeled)
Two large white potatoes cut into four pieces (peeled)
Two fresh ears of corn on the cob cut in half
Two Mexican squash (or zucchini) cut in four pieces each
Two stalks of celery cut into two inch pieces
One half cup of string beans
One small can of chickpeas (garbanzos)
Two medium beefsteak tomatoes diced into one inch pieces


In a large stock pot bring water, beef, garlic, one onion (four pieces) to a boil. Add salt to taste. Lower heat, remove any foam that may have formed on top, cover and simmer for two to three hours or until meat is tender and comes easily off the bone. Remove and discard onion and garlic.

Add remaining onion, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, corn, and string beans to pot. Simmer for fifteen minutes or until potato is fully cooked. Rinse and strain chickpeas and add to mixture. Add diced tomatoes, celery and squash. Simmer for three to five more minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.

Serve in large bowls dividing meat and vegetables equally. Sides may include Mexican rice, spicy hot chili sauce and corn or flour tortillas.


* This recipe is featured in the Old California Gazette vol. 14 November 2003

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