Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Homemade vegetable beef soup

I have wanted to find a favorite vegetable beef soup recipe for some time now, and I think I finally have. I had the best vegetable beef soup at a restaurant this past fall, and asked the waiter what all they put in it. After looking around online and including what they mentioned, I played around with a recipe that I've now made twice, and we all love it. It's just a traditional vegetable beef soup but I love the flavor. The combination of chicken and beef broth along with vegetable juice is one I love because it gives a great flavor but isn't too beefy or tomatoey. I also used a sweet potato instead of a white one, not knowing how it would turn out, and we loved it. It adds a subtle sweet yet savory flavor to the soup, but is not at all overwhelming- just a good, healthy addition that I'll use from now on. This soup is very quick and easy to make and it makes enough for the four of us to have for two meals.  Pasta could also be added to make it go further. I didn't measure out my spices but sprinkled them generously over the soup. We had this for dinner but it also makes great leftovers for lunch. I would love to double this next time and freeze half of it.

Vegetable beef soup

I N G R E D I E N T S :
2 Tbsp XVOO (could also use vegetable oil, I just use olive oil because it's healthy)
1 medium-large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb beef
28 ounces tomato (roughly chop up a can of whole tomatoes or buy diced), drained
15 oz chicken broth
15 oz beef broth
1 Tbsp. better than bouillon chicken base  (I know this stuff isn't nutritious but it gives great flavor!)
1/2 Tbsp. better than bouillon beef base
1 1/2 cups vegetable juice, like V-8
28 ounces frozen vegetables (I used a mix of corn, green beans, peas, carrots, etc)
1 cup frozen lima beans (you can also add more of other frozen vegetables, too)
1 sweet potato, diced
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper (add more if you like)
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Oregano, dried
Basil, dried
Parsley, dried
Parmesan cheese, to sprinkle on top of soup
Ciabatta or any other good bread, or crackers for serving along with soup.

D I R E C T I O N S :
Heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent and garlic is turning a golden color. 
Add ground beef and brown until completely cooked. Drain all excess oil.
Add tomatoes, broth, chicken and beef bases, vegetable juice, vegetables, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to pot. Generously sprinkle remaining spices over the soup (going a little lighter on the garlic and onion powders). Bring back to a boil on medium heat, and then let simmer on medium-low for 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. 
Adjust seasonings to taste.
I find it best to let the soup sit on low for a little while to continue to let the flavors combine, so I'll make this a couple of hours before dinner. 
Top individual bowls with a small amount of parmesan cheese, and serve with bread or crackers. I took a loaf of ciabatta, cut it in half to make two long slices, and brushed it with melted butter before sprinkling it with a very small amount of garlic powder and salt and topping with a little parmesan. I baked it on 350 for 10-15 minutes until the edges were just turning brown, and it was a great addition to the soup. 

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