Soup is the answer.
Minestrone is all very well but WHERE'S THE BEEF?
The following recipe is, on the other hand, based around lean meat, barley and root vegetables. This soup fills the house with its deliciously strong aroma - it reminds me of coming home after school - I could smell it cooking about a block away. It is the perfect meal on a cold, wet Melbourne night of which we are currently experiencing PLENTY. Right now I am staring out the window at a massive cloud as black as night stealing into view from the south west, and it's only three in the afternoon.
This recipe uses lean beef; some variations use a lamb shank.
1. In a litre of water, simmer 750g of lean beef cut into pieces for two hours. Skim if necessary.
2. Now add half a cup of barley, a chopped onion, a diced turnip and a chopped leek and cook another half an hour; then add a diced carrot and a few stalks of celery, finely chopped.
3. When carrot is just tender, remove meat, shred and return to pot.
4. Serve broth in large bowls sprinkled with parsley with hot thick buttered toast on the side.
Follow that with some old-fashioned chocolate sauce pudding with cream; and on a bitterly cold night with the wind blowing like a demon you'll sleep as snug as a bug in a rug, as Dad used to say. Speaking of Scotch, a single malt might help as well.