Sunday, December 25, 2016

Kansas City Steak Soup

     A Hearty Steak Soup For A Chilly Day!
     Today's soup was a house specialty at a restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri many years ago.  A neighbor of mine used to drive to Kansas City from St. Louis a few times a month.  The guy kept talking about a steak house in Kansas City that served a great soup.  During one trip to KC, he asked the chef for the recipe.  To his surprise, the chef said that the price for a copy of the recipe was $50.00!  My neighbor liked the soup, so he paid the fee for the recipe.
     We were invited to dinner at the neighbor's house soon after and we tasted the Kansas City Steak Soup.  The soup was very rich, full of great steak flavor and it had a spicy kick.  The neighbor got a very nice soup recipe for the money spent!
     Everybody liked the Kansas City Steak Soup!  The soup was flavored with hot sauce, A-1 Steak Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce.  The flavor of the steak soup tasted like no other beef vegetable soup.  The neighbor said that the steak soup was always served with a bottle of hot sauce on the side and customers at the restaurant would add generous amounts of hot sauce to the soup while dining.
     I never looked at the neighbor's steak soup recipe that he purchased, because when I tried the soup it was long before I started my chef career.  I am now adept at figuring out the what ingredients are in a recipe and the techniques used to make just about any food item.  The KC Steak Soup actually was easy to remember, so it was pretty easy to figure out.
     I first offered Kansas City Steak Soup at a French café as a special du jour on a chilly day.  Customers liked this soup so much, that a few ordered a second bowl instead of ordering an entrée!  I have made Kansas City Steak Soup at several restaurants since then and each time the entire batch of soup sold out.  This soup is a real crowd pleaser!
     Kansas City Steak Soup is somewhere between a soup and a stew.  Mirepoix vegetables, peppers and mushrooms are in this soup.  Acidic tomatoes add a key flavor.  This soup does resemble a stew, because the soup broth is thickened with roux.  The broth is like a very thin gravy.  This is a very tasty hearty steak soup!

     *This entire recipe yields 5 cups.  (Enough for 2 large bowls of soup.)

     Steak Preparation:
     Step 1:  Select a 1" thick cut of beef steak that weighs 10 ounces.
     *Any thrifty priced cut of lean beef steak can be used.  Sirloin, Top Sirloin, Chuck Steak, Tri-Tip or Tenderloin Tips are good choices.  Beef trimmings can also be used.
     Brush the steak with melted unsalted butter.
     Season the steak with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 2:  Heat a cast iron ribbed griddle or a chargrill to a medium/medium high temperature.
     Grill the steak on both sides, till it is cooked to a medium well done temperature.  (Be sure that dark grill marks appear on the steak!)
     Step 3:  Set the steak aside to cool.
     Cut the grilled chuck roast steak into large bite size pieces.
     Chill the steak bits till they are needed.

     Kansas City Steak Soup:
     Step 1:  Heat a wide sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 2 ounces of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped onion.
     Add 1/3 cup of bite size chopped pieces of carrot.
     Add 1/3 cup of coarsely chopped celery.
     Add 1/2 cup of bite size pieces of green bell pepper.
     Add 4 small portobello mushrooms that are cut into thick slices.  (about 3/4 cup)
     Sauté the vegetables till they start to become tender.
     Step 2:  Add just enough flour to soak up the excess butter in the pan, while stirring.  (about 3 tablespoons.)
     Stir until the roux combines.
     Step 3:  Add 6 cups of beef stock.
     Bring the soup to a gentle boil.
     Stir the soup as it heats and thickens.  (The soup broth should be a very thin consistency.)
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add the reserved grilled steak pieces to the soup.
     Add 3/4 cup of peeled and seeded California Tomato that is cut into bite size pieces.  (Acidic California Tomatoes are best for this recipe.)
     Step 5:  Add 1 bay leaf.
     Add 1 pinch of ground celery seed.
     Add 1 pinch of thyme.
     Add 1 pinch of ground sage.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of Spanish Paprika.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 6:  Add 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce.
     Add 1 tablespoon of A-1 Steak Sauce (or HP Steak Sauce).
     Add 1/2 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons of Tabasco Pepper Sauce.  (to taste)
     Step 7:  Add the white part of 2 green onions that are cut into bite size pieces.
     Add 1/2 cup of green beans that are cut into bite size pieces.
     Step 8:  Simmer till the volume is reduced to about 5 cups and the broth is a very thin gravy consistency.
     *The vegetables and steak pieces will be tender after simmering and reducing.  The proportion of meat and vegetables should be high in this soup.
     Keep the soup warm over very low heat.  Add a splash of water if the broth becomes too thick.
     Remove the bay leaf.
     Ladle the Kansas City Steak Soup into a shallow large soup bowl.
     Try to expose a few pieces of the grilled steak and vegetables on the surface of the soup.
     Garnish with an Italian Parsley sprig.
     Serve with sliced bread on the side.
     Serve with a bottle of Tabasco Sauce on the side.

     The Worcestershire Sauce, A-1 Sauce and Tabasco gives this soup a classic steak house flavor.  Adding hot sauce to this soup at the table does change the deep flavor profile.  This is a great soup for a cold winter day!

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