Brown Windsor Soup comes from Windsor Castle, and has all the flavors of beef stew. We know you’ll love this British classic!
Brown Windsor soup is a simple British beef soup with vegetables and fresh herbs that tastes like beef stew. It is a rich, hearty and nourishing soup that is sometimes finished with a little drop of Sherry, which is often used in English cooking.
A soup that was once very popular, but has since become more rare to see at family meals, it is a warm comforting stew best served with a nice wedge of bread on the side.
The History of Brown Windsor Soup
Derived from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, this soup was served at Windsor Castle (hence the name brown Windsor soup) and was enjoyed by Queen Victoria in the 1800’s. Myself, I had only ever heard of this soup but never tried or seen it on menus and my mum never cooked it for us.
I first heard it referenced in the British comedy TV series from the 1970’s Fawlty Towers. A John Cleese (of Monty Python) series about a not-so-well run hotel by its nightmare owner in the south of England. The soup had become the brunt of comedic jokes and puns.
After my research, I have read that it was served for many years by British Railways in their dining cars that was a particularly unappetizing version which could have led to its demise.
I can see how the color may put people off, but it’s not difficult to make this soup taste delicious and apparently, it’s just as easy to make it taste… not so delicious.
Brown Windsor Soup Recipe
Brown Windsor soup is a long cooking dish. This is to make sure the stewed beef is tender, just like beef stew.
What is a bit unsual about this soup is the blending of it. It’s not usual to blend a soup with chunks of beef but it does help to thicken.
To make brown Windsor soup, you will need:
- Butter - Unsalted butter is used to brown the beef to create the base of this soup
- Beef - Choose beef chuck or bottom round, cut into cubes
- Onions - Finely chopped onions add so much flavor to this brown Windsor soup
- Carrots - Peel the carrots and then dice before adding to the beef along with the onions
- Celery - The celery is also finely chopped before cooking with the carrots and onions
- Flour - All purpose flour helps to thicken the soup
- Beef stock - Choose your favorite beef stock to create the foundation of the soup
- Thyme - Fresh thyme, as possible, will add so much fresh flavor to this comfort food dish
- Tarragon - Finely chopped fresh tarragon is a must for this British soup recipe
- Bay leaf - Fresh bay leaf can be a little trickier to find, so dried is a great substitute
- Salt - Season brown Windsor to taste, using more or less salt to suit your palate
- Black pepper - A big pinch of black pepper, to taste, add so much richness to the seasoning of this soup
Hown to Make Brown Windsor Soup
Brown Windsor soup is really easy to make. It involves a little bit of chopping and dicing, then allowing everything to simmer on the stove so the beef gets super tender and delicious.
While it's cooking, the house will smell so good, making this the perfect dish for your Sunday suppers all fall and winter long.
- Add butter to a heavy saucepan and let it melt over medium heat.
- Add beef and cook until it's beginning to brown, using a spatula to coat it in the butter and as you brown.
- Slice and dice onions, carrots and onion and add them to the saucepan. Cook until with the beef until soft.
- Sprinkle the flour over top and stir the beef and veggies around until coated in the flour.
- Pour in the beef stock and stir.
- Add thyme, tarragon, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Stir and simmer.
- Cover the soup and simmer for at least 2 hours, until the beef is tender.
- Remove 1/3 of the soup and carefully blend in a blender, keeping some of the beef and veggies chunky.
- Return blended soup to the saucepan, stir and simmer.
- Taste for seasoning, add additional salt and black pepper as necessary, then serve.
After making this brown Windsor soup recipe, I am such a fan and I hope it makes a comeback. If you love beef stew, I promise you will love this soup!
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