Monday, February 22, 2010

Vegetable-Beef Soup

    I make soup at least once a week in the cold months.  It's just nice to come home to the yummy scent of a prepared meal in the crock pot all ready and waiting for you to eat!  This one does just that.  In fact, it's one of those that the longer you let it cook the better!  This is a recipe that came from Mom's kitchen, I just added a few things to make it my own.
    This is a hearty soup that is so tasty, and simple to make. The base of it is lean stew meat and a bag of frozen vegetables (peas, corn, carrots, green beans, etc) and you can add whatever you like.  I always add lots of diced potato to mine (steak and potatoes are a winning combo!) and a diced up tomato for freshness. I have never tried it, but it could also be good with shredded chicken instead of the stew meat if you don't eat red meat.  Just substitute the beef boullion cube for a chicken one.
   I like to serve this with a side of corn bread or a roll.  This could also be good with a crusty bread to dip with.  It doesn't need a garnish in my opinion, but you can really do whatever you want with it!  So here it is, my Winter Vegetable-Beef Soup!

Cut your stew meat in half for smaller chunks. Pat off the meat to dry it with a paper towel.  This will allow the meat to brown more evenly.   Heat olive oil in a pan on a medium-high heat (I use my cast iron skillet) and brown the stew meat on all sides. I like to salt and pepper it while it's browning. Remove the meat and put in the crock pot.  Discard some of the grease in the pan.  With the grease that is left in your pan, put in the finely diced onion and let it soften for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic for another 2 minutes.  Once those are finished in the skillet, put them in the crock pot with the meat.  Add the frozen vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, and then add the tomato juice, beef boullion cube, a few dashes of worcester sauce, and some enough water to thin the soup out.  Add lots of salt and pepper, 3 bay leaves, and dried basil.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours. I like my potatoes very tender and meat almost falling apart, so I cook mine for 8.  Serve and enjoy!

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