Simmering on the stove right now is this fantastic concoction found in the January 2008 issue of Bon Appetit- enjoy!
Beef, Vegetable, and Wild Mushroom Soup
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 3/4- to 1-pound cross-cut meaty beef shank bone
1 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
3 bay leaves
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups diced celery
5 1/2 cups beef broth
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 large carrot, peeled, diced
1 large parsnip, peeled, diced
2 1/2-ounce packages dried porcini mushrooms
Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add shank bone and meat cubes to pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until meat is brown and juices are reduced to glaze, turning shank bone occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons thyme and bay leaves to pot; stir 1 minute. Add onions and celery; stir 3 minutes. Add beef broth, tomatoes with juice, carrot, parsnip, and mushrooms. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until beef is tender, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Discard shank bone and bay leaves. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle soup with remaining 1/2 tablespoon thyme and serve.
Beside being rather tasty, during the day this is aroma-therapy! And don't forget a nice crusty loaf of bread- oh yeah!