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Slovenian Beef Noodle Soup

Beth Ribblett

One of the things I get most excited about when I come home is my mother’s homemade beef noodle soup, an old recipe handed down for generations in the Slovenian community she grew up in called Bon Air in Cambria County, Pa. My mother knows how much I love it, so there is always a huge pot waiting every time I come home. It is a simple beef and vegetable broth made with tomatoes, carrots, celery and onions and finished off with thin egg noodles. Comforting and delicious, I make it at home often using my grandmother's old soup pot, but somehow it never tastes as good as it does in my mother's kitchen.

2 1/2lbs beef roast, either English cut or chuck roast
5 1/2 quarts of water
1-28oz. can whole tomatoes crushed by hand, and their juices
4 carrots cut in 1/4" slices
3 stalks of celery cut into 3" pieces
2 medium onions quartered
Thin egg noodles
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the beef in a large soup pot and add water. Bring to a boil, then add tomatoes, carrots, celery and onion. Again bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for 2 hours.

Remove the beef to a cutting board. The beef should be very tender at this point so you can pull apart bit size chunks and cut away any fatty areas. Strain the broth into another pot and add the meat back in to the second pot as well. Put on the stove at low heat and simmer.

Take the strained vegetables and discard the celery and any overly large chunks of onion, carrot and tomatoes. Pour the rest of the vegetables back in the pot, add salt and pepper to taste and continue to simmer.

Cook your noodles as to the instructions on the package and strain. Keep the noodles separate from the soup until serving as they tend to soak up too much of the broth.

Ladle soup into bowls and add the desired amount of noodles and serve.