For the cold days of winter you need two things. An extremely warm jacket and this soup! It feels that winter has come already in Finland (compared to Greece it's pretty cold since here it's only 1-5 Celsius!). So I found some time between my numerous complains about the weather and the never-ending studying for the university and voila I made this really really tasty meat soup!
Ingredients (serves 4)
500g meat for soup or beef shank
4 big carrots
8 medium sized potatoes
1 big onion
1 celery bunch/stalk
6tbs of virgin olive oil (3tbs for frying the meat and 3tbs for the soup)
juice of half a lemon
salt & pepper
Prepare meat: Put 3 tbs of olive oil in a pot. Cut the meat in big chunks (ca. 2-2,5 cm) and add them in the pot. Fry the meat till it gets a nice brown color in both sides. If the meat sticks in the pan it means it's not ready yet. Once ready, pour in 4 glasses of water and bring the pot to a gentle simmer, skimming off the grey-brown foam that rises to the surface. The pot shouldn't boil, instead, let it get just hot enough for the surface to ripple. At that temperature, it should take between 1 1/2 and 2 hours for the shanks to become completely tender. I prefer buying more than 500 g of meat, and freeze the amount that I am not going to use at that point (with some broth).
Prepare soup: Peal the potatoes, carrots and onion and cut them in similar sized pieces in order to cook evenly. Add them in a bowl, minus one carrot. Put the remaining sliced carrot in a food processor along with the celery bunch and half a cup of water. Mix the ingredients in the food processor until they form a paste.
When the meat is ready, add the potatoes, carrots, onions, paste, olive oil and seasoning in the pot. If the vegetables are not fully covered, add water. Cook for 1-1,5 hours in medium heat. Serve warm with some bread. Enjoy!