Friday, January 11, 2013

Italian Vegetable Soup


Rain is on its way but the cold and damp make it feel more like snow. Weather like this makes me want to make soup ~ a good hearty, easy-to-make soup!

One of my favorite soups for this kind of weather is Italian Vegetable Soup. The recipe came from the October, 1992 issue of a Taste of Home magazine, which is still in publication. While the length of the following ingredient list looks intimidating it really isn't. Everything goes in one pot and it takes less than 30 minutes to cook and yet tastes and smells like you've cooked for hours! I'm not kidding!

Because I didn't have several of the listed ingredients I substituted others and will include my substitutions (at the end) in case you'd like to do the same.

Italian Vegetable Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-16 oz. can tomatoes
1-15 oz. can tomato sauce
1-15 oz. can red kidney beans, undrained
2 cups water
5 teaspoons beef bouillion granules
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon sweet basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup frozen or fresh green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces optional
1/2 cup uncooked, small elbow macaroni
Parmesan cheese

Brown beef in large heavy kettle; drain. Add all the ingredients except cabbage, green beans and macaroni. Bring to boil. Lower heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add cabbage, green beans and macaroni; bring to boil and simmer until vegetables are tender. If you prefer a thinner soup, add additional water or broth. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese before serving. Yield: 12 servings.

Substitutions:
Beef:  Jimmy Dean's Sausage Crumbles ~ they are fully cooked; just add with other ingredients.
2 cups water & bouillion: used 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
Salt: used 1/2 teaspoon because sausage is often salty
Shredded cabbage: didn't have cabbage but did have brussel sprouts; just slice and add at the end.
Green beans: used leftover peas.

As Jacques P├ępin says, Happy Cooking!

Namaste,
Chris

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