Sunday, September 14, 2008

Welcome to Soup Season

While it's true that the weather generally stays warmer here in Greencastle than in my hometown, we've been having a pleasant bit of a cool streak. This past week the temperature has been almost entirely in the lower 70s, which, while not the perfection that was 55-degree Scotland, has been pretty comfortable. Reading on the porch is all the more tolerable in the 70s than in the high 80s, as it was when I first got here. And it's a whole lot easier to rationalize starting to work through my list of five soups to try this semester when the evenings are particularly cool.

Nothing warms an evening like hot, broth-y soup!

I broke out that list this week, cracking open The Deen Bros. Y'All Come Eat again this semester. And since I'm only cooking for myself, which means I can be particularly picky about my choices of ingredients, my soup was a bit of an improvisation anyways. I know it's not exactly the most photogenic soup, especially with my changeable photography skills, but it was tasty. I wouldn't automatically accompany it with grilled cheese sandwich dunkers as suggested in the cookbook; tomato soup is still by far the best for that. But it did its job to warm me up after I sat out on the porch reading just a bit too long.

Vegetable Beef Soup
inspired by The Deen Bros. Y'All Come Eat

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground chuck
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
1 beef bouillon cube
1 1/2 tsp Italian herbs
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1 16-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 c uncooked small pasta

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Brown the meat, breaking it up as it cooks for even cooking. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the browned meat to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the celery and onions to the pot, cooking them in the residual fat until they are softened.
Add 2 quarts water, the tomatoes, the bouillon cube, herbs, garlic salt, pepper, and bay leaf to the pot. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Return the meat to the pot and add in the frozen veggies and uncooked pasta. Simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and serve.

1 comment:

John said...

I want some soup! Yum-o!