What better way to warm up your cold winter bones than with a hot bowl of homemade soup? All those veggies during cold and flu season can’t hurt either. The beauty of these kinds of soups is that you use whatever veggies float your boat. Use up some you have in the fridge or freezer. Some use canned veggies or frozen stew veggies. I prefer to use mainly fresh, especially the potatoes. In this batch, I had some nice redskin potatoes, so I scrubbed and diced, threw them in with the skins. I had half a tomato in the fridge…in it went. A baggie of corn, frozen from leftovers…everybody in the pool.
You can make this on the stove and have it ready in an an hour to two, depending on how fast you are at chopping vegetables. You can also throw it in the slow cooker and come home to have it waiting for you. I have seen some where they just throw meat and all into the slow cooker and let it go. I can’t. It is soooo much better if you cook that meat and brown it. Use leftover roast beef and gravy. Never fear. There is enough other liquid here you will never notice that there was thickened gravy, other than the added flavor to the broth. Spinach, kale, peas, squash, whatever you like, or leave out some of the ones I used if you don’t like them. Use more or less meat, whatever suits your fancy.
I also will cook up tougher cuts of meat on the weekends, brown it and chunk it up, then freeze it in portions for soup, beef and noodles, whatever. It makes for quick and delicious weeknight dinners. Haul out a portion of that, throw it in a pot with some beef stock, (or water and some soup base, or vegetable stock) toss in the vegetables and simmer for 45 minutes or so. Instant warm, delicious, healthy comfort food. Toss in some crusty rolls on the side and you’re in like Flynn!
- 1 pound beef - Chuck, round, sirloin, almost any cut willl work, or leftover roast
- 6-8 cups low sodium beef stock, or water plus beef base - low or no sodium is always best
- 1 medium-large onion, chopped
- 3-4 stalks celery, sliced or chopped, however you like it.
- 6-8 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 5-6 medium potatoes, diced
- 1-2 cups green beans, fresh is best but frozen works fine. If using canned, add in the last ½ hour.
- 1-2 cups whole kernel corn
- 1-2 cups chopped fresh cabbage
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 1 cup tomato jiuce or ½ cup tomato sauce or 3-4 Tablespoons tomato paste.
- ***a ½ cup of salsa will give it the tomato and and extra kick!
- Season the meat and brown slowly and well. Brown the juices well for a good broth. If using a tougher cut of meat, simmer for an hour or two in a few cups of water. When the meat is tender, add the stock or water.
- Throw in the veggies and bring to a boil. Taste for seasonings and add any salt and pepper. Throw in a bay leaf or two if you like.
- Simmer until all is tender, than add another ½ to 1 hour to bring the flavors together.
- If using the slow cooker, add the browned meat to the slow cooker and add the other ingredients. Cook at med-high for 6-8 hours.