Meat Soup

What’s in a name?
The other day I was asking my Mother about recipes from the past.
Ma: Your Nana (my paternal grandmother) made excellent soups.
Me: Like what? I remember her chicken soup and borscht…what else?
Ma: Oh, I liked her meat soup.
Me: Meat Soup?
Ma: It’s like chicken soup but with meat. I think I still have the recipe…
My Nana was born in Kiev, Russia 1894. The family fled to Canada when she was a young girl. Her name was Vitte but she took her sister’s name, Fanny, after Fanny was killed in a machine accident. She met my Papa (paternal grandfather) when they were teenagers and their families were living in the same apartment complex in Montreal. His name was Yitzcok when he was born in Romania 1891 but changed it to Isadore upon arrival in Canada when he was 13 years old. He celebrated his Bar Mitzvah on the boat. Fanny and Isadore married then made their way to America and settled in Chicago where Papa took on the name, Irving, and they raised their children, Edythe and Leonard (my father).
I remember one day when we were kids, my Dad asked us if we knew Papa’s real name. I thought about it and said “Is” because that’s what Nana called him. Then I fell into a fit of giggles. What kind of name is Is, Dad? That’s a verb!
My nephews are Stone Leonard, his middle name in memory of our father, and Jett Izzy’s middle name is in honor of our Papa – Is, or Izzy.
Meat Soup
3 1/2 lbs. short ribs
4 carrots
2 onions
2 parsnips
3 celery stalks
1 parsley root
1 c. dried large lima beans
Egg noodles
These are the ingredients my Mother has listed on her old recipe index card from notes she took years ago while watching her mother-in-law make meat soup.
Here is how I made my Nana’s soup:
Put short ribs in a soup pot full of water, heat on high until the water boils, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Skim off the scum and fat constantly. After 1 1/2 hours add rough chopped vegetables and beans. (I couldn’t find parsley root so I used a bunch of parsley). Simmer another hour or so, until the beans are cooked and the meat is butter-tender and falling off the bone. Season with salt and pepper. (I also added some beef base). To serve, put cooked egg noodles in a bowl and ladle soup on top.

Meat soup. What’s in a name? Indeed.

32 thoughts on “Meat Soup”

  1. I absolutely love this post, Lori Lynn! Thanks for sharing a little of your family history. Who knew? And the soup looks great…perfect for a blustery fall day!

  2. The name is simple and to the point. And common, this sounds hearty and delicious. I would take a meat soup any day. I love the family history.

  3. Dishes with loving history is always the best! They do not only comfort the tummy, but brings warmth to the heart as well… I love the story, Am loving the taste of the soup already! 🙂

  4. This sounds like a soup we would make! I guess homey foods are essentially — in essence — the same. =)

  5. Thanks for the peek into your family’s history…please share more.

    In the meantime, I’ll pull up a chair, napkin and bib in place..patiently awaiting a soup.

  6. I’m sitting in my office feeling very cold and would love a bowl of soup…please and thank you

    There’s an award on our blog for you

  7. Reminds me of a family favorite no one’s been able to replicate,
    “potato stew.” Thanks goodness your mom at least wrote down basic ingredients, and it does look hearty and delicious, but then you rarely disappoint with your posts. The peek at the family is nice, though. Thanks for that.

  8. Now I wonder if your Papa knew my Papa. They would have been in Chicago around the same time period and also immigrated from Eastern Europe.

  9. Hi FA – thanks, glad you like it! Who knew? Now you know a little more about your friend’s ancestry.

    Hi MLV – thanks, I am glad you find my family history interesting.

    Hi Ning – I agree. And this blog has prompted me to ask my mother more about recipes in our family.

    Hi TS – yes, I think so too.

    Hi Peter – I’m happy to share more. Stay tuned.

    Hi Darius: meat + soup = YUM

    Hi Giz – you guys are so sweet. Thank you so much.

    Hi Jean – thanks and now I’m curious about potato stew???

    Hi Mikky – when my mother said “meat soup” I thought that was such an uninteresting name and it got me thinking…and what if meat soup was on a restaurant menu, would it sell well?

    Hi That Girl – wouldn’t that be something? Papa lived in Rogers Park (north side of Chicago) and worked for the City. How about your Papa?

  10. Ahhh, That’s your Chicago connection!How long did you live here? I love all your family history and all those great names.Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself and this treasured family recipe!

  11. I love those big chunks of meat in this soup. I enjoyed the peek into your family history. I always find that aspect fascinating about people.

  12. I love everything about this post Lori Lynn! What a rich heritage you have! I especially loved how you opened up with the conversation between you and your mother!
    And the soup.. It must taste wonderful!! I love beef bones in the soup.. the marrow gives such beautiful flavor!

  13. Hi lori
    as you say..what’s in the name ..yeah true but the ingredient,the fragrance, the smell is what makes them alike..isn’t..loved your nana’s recipe and your preparation..

  14. I love stories around recipes and food. It’s just that little spice that makes it all the more intriguing. This is a good soup to add, no matter what it’s name, tis the season.

  15. Hey, what a wonderful story!
    And yeah, what’s in a name? I would definitely enjoy this.

    I would like to try borscht.

  16. borscht…
    Any chance of getting that recipe too?
    My mother used to make it but mine turned out horrid – too many carrots I guess, not enought beets
    No hydrangeas in this recipe I guess..

  17. Thanks for sharing a little about your heritage. I think it really helps us get to know the person behind the recipes.

    My Nonna made a soup like this too, only Italian-style. I loved hers and I love yours too. Perfect for the impending cooler days!

  18. This same soup is very popular in Austria. Greengrocers and supermarkets carry little bundles, tied by strings, that include an orange and a yellow carrot, a few sprigs of parsley, a slice of celeriac (celery root), and a parsnip. Very handy! The soup is served with “soup noodles”, a kind of short angelhair pasta, made with eggs, and freshly grated horseradish.

  19. I forgot that the soup vegetables include also a small leek.

    Your family history reads like a novel. It’s incredible how much your relatives have been through! Have you ever travelled to Kiev? An incredibly beautiful city, albeit its inhabitants are still very very poor. You’d love the Ukraine also for the food, their cuisine is incredibly varied. At times I felt like being somewhere in the Mediterranean, while the next serving could have come straight out of a Russian kitchen.

  20. Hi Marie – born and raised. Sullivan High School and UIUC.

    Hi Bridgett – I guess I could have cut them up and took them off the bone, but I like rustic too.

    Thanks Laurie – and me too on bones in soup!

    Hi Ann – “So, what’s not to like, eh?” That’s how Nana would have said it.

    Hi Soni – I remember coming home from school in winter and the kitchen windows would be all fogged up from Nana’s making soup.

    Hi Marla – I can’t believe I haven’t made this before now. I need to pick my mother’s brain for more recipes and stories.

  21. Hi Marc – me too. Oh yea, Pot au Feu, sure does.

    Hi Emiline and Carol – I will ask my mother if she has the borscht recipe.

    Hi Zita – I am fortunate, indeed.

    HI SGCC – I am finding it valuable myself. I did not know how my Nana and Papa met until I asked my mother the other day. I don’t think my brothers and sisters knew this either, so now, if they are reading, they will learn that about our family history too.

    Dear Dear Merisi – why didn’t I eat my soup with horseradish? I love horseradish! Next time.
    I have never been there, thanks for telling me about it. I do need to put that on my list of places to visit. And when I travel, I am very interested in the food, of course!

  22. Lori,

    This is indeed exquisite china and to serve that hearty soup in the bowls is a plus! I have already begun to eat with my eyes!

  23. Reading your blog is like reading poetry. I haven’t come across a blog like yours in a long time. Thank you for your inspiring posts and for your Nana’s soup recipe!

  24. Hi Paz- please let me know when you do!

    Hi Nazarina – the old china lends another layer of nostalgia to the soup, don’t you think?

    Hi WORC – Welcome! Such kind words. Thank you very much.

    Hi Candy – you can’t make them up! Thanks.

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