Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside!

There is something about the transition from warm weather to cold weather that gives me a craving for nice, hot vegetable soup! We don't really have a fall here in the Carolinas. It might be 80 degrees one day and 30 the next! It started getting colder on Sunday, so my craving for Vegetable soup began! Monday night, I decided to cook it, and we ate it for two days! I also had enough to fill a quart size freezer bag and put it in the freezer. This soup freezes very well. When you are ready to eat it, just thaw it, place it in a pot, add a little chicken broth (or vegetable broth), and heat it up! I always get compliments on my vegetable soup, and it’s easy-peasy because I use all canned vegetables! If I’m trying to impress and have more time (and money) on my hands, I’ll use fresh vegetables, but this is my quick and easy vegetable soup recipe! Served alone, it will feed at least 8 people, but it would probably serve about 15 if served with sandwiches. The entire pot will cost you about $15, so for less that $2 a person, this is definitely a low budget meal! Hope you enjoy!

Vegetable Soup

2 lbs. ground beef (or more if desired)
2-28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
3-11 oz. cans of tomato soup
2-15 oz. cans of mixed vegetables (potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, lima beans)
1-15 oz. can of whole kernel corn
1-15 oz. can of cut green beans
Basil (about 1 Tbsp)
Onion Powder (about 1 tsp)
Sugar (about 3 Tbsp)
Seasoning (I use a Creole seasoning that I use in almost everything)

1. Place ground beef in stock pot and begin to brown.
2. Add Basil, Onion Powder, and Garlic Powder to the ground beef and continue to brown. (When time isn’t an issue, I use fresh onion and garlic instead, but it needs to be sautéed before being added to ground beef)
3. Drain ground beef if desired. (I usually use at least 85% ground beef and I don’t always drain it)
4. The fun part…Open the cans and dump all of the ingredients into the pot with the meat (don't drain).
5. Add the sugar, seasoning, salt and pepper. (I usually just add these to taste. Don’t leave out the sugar (unless you need to omit sugar from your diet)…it really offsets the bitterness of the tomato soup and it’s what makes this soup so delicious!)
6. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. The longer, the better. I use a crock pot whenever possible.
7. Enjoy!

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