Cranberry Beef Soup

I tend to cook more with plant-based protein and seafood than meat or chicken, but this soup has such a delicious taste that I just keep making it. It's especially festive around the holidays and perfect for guests. My friend brought this soup to a birthday lunch given in my honor nine years ago, and it has become a family favorite, even amongst the kids. I've adapted the original recipe enough to make it my own, but I still think of my friend, Lisa Mann, when I make it. If you prefer more of a stew, dredge the meat chunks in flour before cooking them. Otherwise, it's a lighter meal and gluten free. If you don't like any sweetness with your savory foods, only add one can of cranberries rather than one and one-half cans. This is the only recipe in that I use canned cranberry sauce, but I do make this soup after Thanksgiving using my leftover homemade sauce instead. Surprisingly, it tastes just as good using the whole berry canned type. In fact, I substitute the beef with leftover turkey, and it's great too. Take advantage of cranberries loaded nutrition, while enjoying the holidays!
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2 to 2 1/2 lbs. beef roast or stew meat, cut into 1/2 2 to 4 tbsp oil 3 cups water or beef stock (omit beef base if using beef stock) 4 tsp beef base (Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon) 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 3 garlic cloves 1/2 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp pepper 10 carrots, cut in equal sizes Pearl onions, fresh, frozen (Trader Joe's) or jarred, or 1 large onion cut in chunks 8 oz baby portabella mushrooms, sliced (optional) 1 1/2  cans (16 oz. each) whole berry cranberry sauce salt and pepper to taste


1) In a large soup pan, brown meat in oil.
2) Add water and beef base or stock, Worcester sauce, garlic, paprika and pepper to pan with meat. Cover and simmer for about an hour.
3) Add carrots, onions, mushrooms (optional) and cranberry sauce and simmer uncovered until carrots and onions are tender, stirring frequently. Season to taste. Enjoy!