Not a week after I posted this, Yahoo Shine Supper Club said it was looking for one pot meals. I guess fall brings that out in us.
When it begins to cool down the first thing I want to make is vegetable beef soup. It never turns out exactly the same twice, but generally it has the basic fresh vegetables and anything else I have on hand. My oldest daughter has laid claim to my soup pot. She reminds me constantly not to give it away to the church rummage sale just because it is old. I got it for a wedding gift and it has made some wonderful meals and memories along with it. I’ll tell you about those as we go along.
This can be made in a crock pot too. (cut back on the quantities of veggies. It won’t all fit in a crock pot.) There is not a better smell than pulling into the garage at the end of the day than the soup that has been cooking all day in the crock pot. Leftovers are even better.
We had a priest at St Francis who loved soup suppers. Several of us agreed to make vegetable soup. The plan was to combine them all when we brought them to the kitchen. However, every single pot looked different and had a different flavor. Some were slow cooked on the stove top and some in crock pots. The difference was surprising since they had the same ingredients. So surprise your family with some vegetable soup and yours will be their favorite.
- 1 ½ pounds lean cubed stew meat cut in small pieces
- 1 large sweet onion diced
- 1small leek cleaned and sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 ribs celery sliced
- 2 carrots sliced
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons black pepper, divided
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes + 1 can water
- 32 ounces lower sodium beef broth
- 1 potato peeled and diced in small cutes
- 8 ounces frozen green peas or green beans
- 8 ounces frozen corn
In a large Dutch oven with a lid, brown the meat which has been lightly seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until very brown. You may need to do this in 2 batches to avoid overcrowding the meat. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the onion and leek and sauté until tender. Avoid adding too much oil at this point. (Perhaps a tablespoon.)
If using a crock pot, transfer the meat and onion and leek to the crock pot now. Add the broth to the pan you sauted in and scrape up those good brown bits and pour into the crock pot. Add everything else and cook at least 8 hours.
Add the meat back to the Dutch oven along with the celery, carrots, bell pepper, bay leaf, tomatoes, water, broth and potatoes. Add 1 teaspoon ground cumin and ½ teaspoon dried thyme. Add enough water to make it the consistency you like your soup or until the pot is full. Bring this to a boil, cover and reduce to a very slow simmer, stirring occasionally. If cooking on the stove top add the corn and peas about 30 minutes before serving.
Serve piping hot in big soup bowls along with some very good Southern Corn Bread muffins. (Warming to the body and soul.)