I know what some of you may be thinking, Des it is summer why on earth are you sharing a soup recipe with us? I have a perfectly good explanation: summer weather in the Pacific Northwest can just plain suck sometimes.
Imagine with me for a minute that you spend an entire Saturday outside enjoying an 80 degree day. You lay in the sun, have a picnic and take a long walk. You get to thinking, perhaps a little naively, “This weather is great! Tomorrow I am going to have myself a BBQ. I am going to cook a delicious steak with sauteed onions and mushrooms. Oh an maybe a baked potato too. And I am going to do it all outside on the grill and then soak up the sun as I savor the meal on my patio.” You go to bed dreaming about how wonderful your steak is going to be. Then in the wee hours of what was to be your beautiful, sunny Sunday, you wake up to the sound of rain, lots of rain. Suddenly your dream of that delicious steak went straight out the window and landed in the huge puddle of mid-summer rain next to your grill.
The above scenario is exactly what happened to me yesterday. While I could’ve let the gloomy, soggy weather get me down, I chose not to. I was going to enjoy my steak darnit. I’d just have to prepare it a different way. Instead of cooking it all on the grill, I put everything, the steak, the onions, the mushrooms and the potato into a large pot and made a tummy warming, creamy soup that was ready just as the thunder rolled in.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Cut the steak in half. Cook 1 half in the pot until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. Cook remaining half of steak until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to same plate and set aside to rest.
In the same pot, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the onion and the garlic. Cook 5 minutes or until browned. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle flour over the mushroom mixture. Cook 1 minute.
Pour in beef, vegetable broth and Worcestershire sauce. Scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and add potatoes.
Cut steak into bite size pieces. Return steak and any juices from the plate to the pot. Simmer soup for 30 minutes. Potatoes should be soft.
Slowly stir 3 tablespoons of soup broth into the half and half to temper it. Slowly stir tempered half and half into the soup. Cook for about 10 more minutes.
Stir in fresh tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
Hopefully, many of you are enjoying hot and sunny summer weather right now, but I bet a few of you will have a couple of days where you'll crave a warm, comforting dish in the coming months. I hope this satisfies that craving. Enjoy!