Saturday, March 23, 2013

Veggie Soup with a Twist

I came up with this recipe one night by combining a soup my grandmother made and a soup my mom made.  I did not know if it would work, but was determined to give a try.  I started it, then had to switch pans because he made so much.  That was a good thing since I needed to feed four families due to illness.  Plus it freezes well for nights you do not have time or feel like cooking.  All of the families loved it. So here is the recipe I use:

1 cup or can of lima beans
1cup or can of pinto beans
1 cup or can off green beans
1 cup or can of whole kernel corn
3lbs of potatoes
2 to three cups of tomato sauce
2 to 3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 gallon of water
1 whole diced onion to taste
1 tablespoon of salt
1 teaspoon of garlic
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1 regular sized package of elbow macaroni
2lbs of ground beef

I start out by browning my ground beef (have used ground turkey and ground venison as well).  While the meat is browning, I add water to a large (as in industrial size pot you would see a cafeteria worker from school using), then toss in the chicken cubes. Since fresh red potatoes take the longest to get tender, I begin peeling and adding them first.  This is assuming all of the beans are pre-cooked.  If not cook them well before putting the soup together.  While they are cooking I finish the meat and drain the fat off.  Place it aside to add later.

Once the potatoes are beginning to soften I start added the rest. I add the tomato sauce, beans, seasonings and brown meat.  This will look supper juicy, but the juice will be soaked up by the noodles later.  Add the lid and let boil for around 45 minutes to an hour to get all the flavors out.  Finally remove the lid and add the box of noodles.  This is the hardest part.  You will need to stir constantly for 5 to ten minutes so that the noodles will not sit on the bottom and burn.  Once they start to puff to nearly done, turn the burner off, replace the lid and let sit for 30 minutes to cool and finish the noodles. 

Fresh tomatoes can be added, a little hot pepper for a kick, or some celery.  This is very easy to make and to customize to your own families taste. You can also use chicken broth as a base for the soup with great results.  My mother is a vegetarian, so usually I will pull some of the soup out for her before the beef and noodles are added.  If you like a thicker soup, then use a little less water. 

Once it has cooled enough, enjoy your soup!  It will keep in the refrigerator for a while if you like left overs.  I use quart size freezer bags to store mine in the freezer for a quick dinner on busy nights.  It is a great size to thaw out once it has been frozen.  It thaws faster at this size, plus you can grab as many bags as you need depending on how many are over for dinner. I plan on making some this week for dinner. I will update with a picture then.

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