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Brown Windsor Soup

Brown Windsor Soup

Brown Windsor Soup is a hearty soup, made with beef and lamb, or other braised beef cuts. We’re just using beef in our version. Writers have found references to the soup going back to Queen Victoria’s court, and even before, where she reportedly served it at state dinners. It was also a favorite served on the British Rail in their diner cars. Served with crusty bread, scones or other rolls, it has been served in many British restaurants going back to the 1920’s and 1930’s. It isn’t found on a lot of menus these days, but has been found as a historical revival dish. We are publishing a traditional version since it makes flavorful use of Bouquet Garni, which adds a nice flavor to what we might characterize as a beef soup or stew.

Brown Windsor Soup has also been the butt of British humor for years since it was considered a drab, dull meal since it was traditionally made with leftover meat, oxtail, and other working family meat cuts. It was found on many hotel menus as well, hence the reference in the British comedy television series, Fawlty Towers. It has also been use in other UK television series as a traditional dish.

Many of our friends love to use our spices and herbs in soups, stews and casseroles, since they are easy to make, and very savory. The historical references I mentioned are for educational, trivia purposes. But this is quite a nice, savory beef, vegetable soup. Since it is usually served with a crusty bread, and our Crusty Bread recipe is quite easy and also popular with our friends, click HERE for the complete bread recipe.

Servings: 4

2 Tablespoons Butter
½ lb stewing beef (traditional versions are made with half lamb or mutton)
4 Cups Good Beef Stock
1 Carrot, Peeled and Sliced into ¼” slices
1 Parsnip, Peeled and Sliced into ¼” slices
1 Medium Onion, Peeled, Cut in Half and Sliced into ¼” slices
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 Tablespoons Dried Bouquet Garni. (You can tie in a cheesecloth sachet or add direct since our blend is fine cut and doesn’t need removed after cooking.)
¼ Teaspoon Chili Powder
Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper to Taste
½ Cup Cooked Rice (Optional)
¼ Cup Cream Sherry or Madeira (Optional)

Cut the beef into 1 inch cubes. Dredge in the flour and set aside.

Place the butter in a large saucepan over low to medium heat until it browns. The butter can burn easily, so watch the heat. You don’t want the butter to burn. Add the meat and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes until it browns all over. Add the rest of the flour and cook a bit more do that the flour mixture and butter turns golden brown.

Add the vegetables and chili powder. Pour in the stock and stir to combine. Add the Bouquet Garni. Cover the saucepan, leaving the lid slightly ajar to let the steam to escape and the mixture to reduce. Simmer for 2 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove Bouquet Garni if you simmered in a sachet.

If you are going to add the optional cooked rice, puree the soup first. Serve with crusty bread or rolls. Add a tablespoon of the optional Cream Sherry or Madeira if you like.