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Oxtail soup

Oxtail soup

Oxtail soup is one of the most comforting soups you can make; not only delicious, but also rich in protein and iron, making it a great for those moments when you need a boost.

Serves 4-6
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours 10 minutes


  • 4 tablespoons plain floor
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.25kg oxtail, jointed and excess fat removed
  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 turnip, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stick, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few thyme sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons tomato purée
  • 300ml red wine or stock
  • 1.1 litres beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • handful of flat-leafed parsley, chopped
  • roasted cherry tomatoes and blanched cavolo nero, to serve (optional)


In a shallow bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the flour with salt and pepper.

Heat half the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan until hot. Coat the oxtail pieces with the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess, and fry for 2 minutes on each side or until evenly browned, then remove from the pan.

Add the remaining oil to the pan with the vegetables, herbs and peppercorns. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the tomato purée and the remaining seasoned flour, adding a little more oil if necessary. Stir frequently for another 1-2 minutes.

Pour in the red wine and scrape the base of the saucepan with a wooden spoon. Boil for a few minutes. Return the oxtail to the saucepan and pour in the stock to cover. Bring to a simmer and skim off any scum that rises to the surface.

Partially cover the pan and cook gently for 3 hours or until the oxtail is very tender and comes off the bone easily.

With a pair of kitchen tongs, carefully move the oxtail pieces to a large bowl and leave to cool slightly.

Strain the cooking stock through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, pushing down on the vegetables with the back of a ladle to extract as much liquid as possible.

Pull the meat from the oxtail and shred into small pieces.

To thicken the stock, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour with the butter, then whisk into the simmering stock, a little at a time.

Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then add the shredded meat to the saucepan to warm through.

Sprinkle with parsley or stir through the tomatoes and cavolo nero before serving.


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