Vegetable Beef Soup

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My mother makes the best vegetable soup ever. I’ve never made it myself, because whenever mom would make some, she’d bring half of it over to my house for me to eat. My husband was never a fan of vegetable soup, in fact there are incriminating photos of him as a 4 year old, pouting in front of a bowl of veggie soup……his mother says he stayed at that spot till bedtime because he wasn’t permitted to leave the table until he ate it! However, now that he is grown, he will eat his vegetables…including this delicious vegetable beef soup.

I’ve copied this word for word from my mother. It is another no-recipe recipe.

Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup

“Here is how I make vegetable soup:

“I buy a small (2-3 pound or more) chuck roast or English roast and rinse it and put it into a heavy pot, add water to cover and then boil it until it is done and is falling apart. Maybe a couple of hours…don’t know for sure how long this takes.

“Then I put it into the refrigerator overnight so that it will get cold and I can skim off the fat. If your refrigerator is full, you could put the meat in one container and the broth in another. This makes it easy to skim off the fat from the broth. I usually cool it overnight. You may want to use some of this meat for sandwiches. You don’t need it all for the soup…just chop us some of it for the soup. I depends on how much soup you want to make.

“Then I dice up some potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery and add that to the chopped meat and broth. The amount of vegetables, again, depends on how much you want to make. I usually have about equal amounts of carrots and potatoes and a little less of the onion and celery. You can add other vegetables but I only use these.

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In this picture is one onion chopped, 3 carrots chopped, 2 celery stalks chopped and 2 potatoes diced as well as a 3 lb. English Roast cooked and chopped.

“Add water to the broth so that the vegetables are ‘swimming’ around a little. Let this cook until vegetables are tender. Then add a can of diced tomatoes and a small can of tomato puree (the thick paste). Do not add the puree until the vegetables are done because the puree will make the soup boil over. Simmer for a while until flavors are blended. The puree will thicken things up a bit so don’t have the burner set too high.

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“Of course you need to add salt and pepper if desired. I also use about 2 teaspoons of sugar to counterbalance the acid of the tomatoes. You won’t taste the sugar.

“This soup will taste better the second and third day if it lasts that long.

“This recipe is one that you just use your judgment on as to the amount of vegetables and meat you use. It turns out good no matter what the proportions are. I usually make a large pot of it whenever I make it. I think the secret to this soup is using “Hunt’s Tomato Puree”.

I have used other brands but they are not as tasty.”


Easy Chili

I have tried so many different recipes for chili. I’ve liked most of them. But one day, time was a little tight so I made chili the easy way….all from canned ingredients. And let me tell ya, I think this is our new favorite chili! It works for me.

First, brown a pound of ground beef (or turkey) and a small onion in a pan.

Here is all you’ll need to add to that meat:

Just let the pot simmer for a little while so all the flavors can marry. The beans (and it must be THAT brand of beans) are seasoned exactly right for us…not too spicy hot, but loads of flavor.

And if you want to add even more deliciousness (and calories!), top it with a dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheddar cheese.

Yummmm!


Cheesy Tortilla Soup

This is the perfect cool-weather soup. We’re having this tonight while watching the football games. This is very similar to the Tortilla Soup served at Max & Erma’s.

Cheesy Tortilla Soup

Serves: 8

1 envelope fajita marinade mix
4 boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cans chicken broth
1/3 cup Rotel tomatoes w/ green chiles
1 cup Velveeta, cubed
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups half and half
Guacamole
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips

Prepare fajita mix according to package directions; add chicken and marinate as directed. In a large skillet, cook chicken in oil until juices run clear; set aside.

In a large saucepan, cook onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened and bubbly. Add tomatoes, Velveeta and 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Stir in cream and chicken; heat through (do not boil). Spoon into bowls. Garnish with guacamole, cheddar cheese and remaining Monterey Jack cheese; add tortilla chips.


Cream of Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

As I’ve said before, I’m not normally a broccoli fan. But this soup is rather delicious. Of course the cheese is what redeems the broccoli!

Cream of Broccoli & Cheddar Soup
Serves:6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 bag frozen chopped broccoli
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon flour, or more if needed
1 bay leaf
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste

In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook onion. When onion is translucent, add broccoli and bay leaf and stir to combine. Sprinkle vegetables with flour and stir quickly to combine. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Continue to stir and gradually add the milk and chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly, till broccoli is tender and mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes or so. Remove and discard bay leaf. Transfer soup to blender and process at low speed until smooth. Add Cheddar cheese and stir; salt and pepper to taste. Reheat if needed. Serve.


Corn Chowder

Today’s soup is a variation on a recipe I found in one of the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. I thought it was perfect for this time of year. It is a thick chowder and is very warm and filling to eat on a cold blustery night.

Corn Chowder

1 onion, chopped
4 Tbsp butter
2 15 1/2 oz cans creamed corn
4 potatoes, chopped small and boiled
4 cups chicken broth
1 can evaporate milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Saute onions in butter in a dutch oven until tender; add the corn. Add cooked potatoes, chicken broth, evaporated milk and cheese. Heat until cheese melts. Don’t let the soup come to a boil or else it will “break” and become like cottage cheese. (Experience speaking here!).

This is yummy served with crumbled bacon pieces.


French Onion Soup

This is a savory blend of flavors, perfect for a chilly autumn night.

French Onion Soup

Serves 6

3 large onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3 cans condensed beef broth (10 1/2 oz. cans)
2 cups water
6 slice French bread  (1 inch thick)
6 slices Swiss or Gruyere cheese
Grated parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan cook onion and garlic in butter or margarine, covered, over low heat about 20 minutes or  until very tender. Stir occasionally. Stir in beef broth and water. Cover and cook over medium heat about 25 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, toast bread slices; arrange on a baking sheet. Top bread with Swiss or Gruyere cheese. Sprinkle  lightly with parmesan cheese. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes or till cheese is light brown and bubbly. Ladle hot soup into serving bowls. Top with bread slices.

The soup can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. Add the toasted bread and cheese when you are ready to serve it.


Slow Cooking Thursday~Chicken Stew

Another chicken stew for the crockpot! This differs from my Crockpot Chicken Stew in that it has a tomato base. I like them both equally well. I’ll serve this when my second daughter is away as she does NOT like anything tomato based (even tomato based pizza sauce!)

Chicken Stew
Serves: 4-6
1 can chicken broth — (14-1/2 ounces)
1 can tomato paste — (6 ounces)
1 lb. skinless boneless chicken breasts — cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large  potatoes — peeled and cubed
1 small  onion — chopped
2 celery stalks — sliced
2 large carrots — sliced
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. cornstarch
In a crock pot, combine the chicken broth and tomato paste.  Add next 8 ingredients and stir to mix well. Cover and cook on high heat for 3-1/2 to 4 hours, or on low heat for 7 to 8 hours.
Mix water and cornstarch in small bowl; stir until smooth. Stir into stew. Cook, covered, for 30 minutes more, or until thickened.

Hop on over to Sandra’s Blog for more slow cooking recipes. Then come back here next Wednesday for Soup’s On Wednesday!