It’s anniversary time! Four years ago today I started my food blog. I’ve learned so much from writing a blog! I’ve also learned so much about writing a blog. I recently spent about 8 hours learning to post the recipes in a neat little box where you can print them easily. I’ve been able to write web pages in html since 1998 but that recipe box was HARD! I’m now a pro at it (not).
Since my first post was Italian Wedding Soup, I’m going to keep soup as my theme and make another one of my favorite childhood canned soups. I’ve made bean with bacon and chicken noodle so far. Today I worked on vegetable beef soup. Simple, flavorful and no extra mystery ingredients as there often are in canned soups. I was a soup child in the 60s and 70s and can proudly say I’m still a soup woman. I prefer soup (with saltine crackers) over anything else. Except scallops. I really, really love scallops.
I thawed some ground beef instead of using another cut of beef such as a roast or steak. It was easier and quicker and I often use ground beef in cheeseburger chowders and such. I seared the beef until it was dark brown and caramelized in places then set it aside to add to the soup pot later. The beef was cooked enough, I didn’t want to boil it to death.
Potatoes make great soups and I happened to have a few tubs of them in a cold guest room from last fall’s harvest. They need to be washed before pealing, they’re straight out of the ground. I washed, peeled and diced about 8 or 9 cups of potatoes in 1/2″ cubes. I added the potatoes to 64 ounces of beef broth from cartons. The most recent broth we bought isn’t so flavorful so I added two tablespoons of Better Than Bouillon paste that comes in a jar. It has great beef flavor!
I started the soup pot on the stove at medium high heat, until it came to a bubbling boil. I continued to add vegetables. Next up was 4 stalks of celery, sliced thinly.
I cut 2 large carrots into strips and diced them to about 1/4″ size. I cut up an onion into the same sized pieces. I was looking for uniformity in the sizes of my vegetables.
Once the soup came to a bubbling boil I reduced the heat to medium low and let the soup simmer for an hour. Actually I ran an errand so that worked out well. When I returned I added a cup of frozen peas to the pot.
I taste tested my soup and decided to add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, a large pinch of tarragon, and salt and pepper. I also added 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. I’d seen that as a hint in making beef soup long ago and usually add it to my beef soups. It’s just barely there, you wouldn’t know it was tomato unless someone told you.
Finally I added the ground beef to the soup, stirred well and tasted. Oh yes! This was so good! It had a rich, beefy flavor and lots of vegetables in every bit. Perfection outside a can!
Vegetable Beef Soup
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 8 cups potatoes; peeled, diced to 1/2″ cubes
- 4 stalks celery; thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots; cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1/2 cup onion; cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 64 ounces beef broth (use your own or from a carton)
- 2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon (comes in a jar in the bouillon section of the grocery store)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon tarragon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Brown the beef until brown and caramelized in places. Drain and set aside.
- Add potatoes, celery, carrots, onion and beef broth to soup pot. Stir in Better Than Bouillon, garlic powder and tarragon. Bring to a bubbling boil then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for an hour.
- Add frozen peas and tomato paste. Stir well. Taste test for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Add ground beef and simmer 5 more minutes.
- This soup would freeze well in portions.