1-1.5 pounds of stew meat (try to get it lean), chopped into large bite-size pieces
4 or 5 red potatoes, diced
4 or 5 celery stalks, cut into large slices
a small bag of baby carrots, cut into halves
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
1 yellow onion, cut into chunky slices or wedges
2 bay leaves
3 cups of water
salt & pepper to taste
A few splashes of Worcestershire Sauce
several good shakes of paprika (for coloring)
A few tbs of flour (to thicken the stew)
You can also add some green beens, though I didn't think to add it at the time
(add even more veggie nutrition: finely, finely chop 1/4-1/2 of a bell pepper leftover from fridge)
Sprinkle the stew beef with salt & pepper and enough flour to coat it entirely. Sprinkle some extra pepper into the water. Throw all ingredients into a slow-cooker, except the potatoes and set on low for 8-9 hours. Add the potatoes after a 3-4 hours into the cooking process. Take out the bay leaf. If the soup liquid is too thin for your liking, add a little corn starch in a few tbs of water and mix into the soup while it is boiling. Serve with crusty french bread.
Serving it to toddlers ages 2-3 : strain the stew so there's barely liquid in the bowl, if they are not as equipped in using a spoon without your help. Let it cool off!! Chop up the veggies/meat so they are more manageable to eat. Otherwise, leave the broth if you plan on spoon-feeding.