Joy in cooking…

Over the last month I’ve written lots of tidbits of thoughts and very few tidbits of tastes.  So today it’s time for a change.  One of the blessings of my sobriety is rediscovering my love of cooking.  Once again, preparing healthy and delicious meals for my family brings me joy and feeds by soul.  I love trying new recipes as much as creating something out of the miscellaneous items in the refrigerator.  The only down side to those pulled together creations is that, like a stunning sunset, they can be copied but never truly recreated.

Tonight we had soup for dinner.  While this is not a regular occurrence, when life is busy and everyone is running in different directions, a warm pot of hearty soup on the stove, that can be served at will, is just the answer.

I share here my recipe for a Beef Vegetable Soup that is my amalgamation of several different recipes, the first of which was my mother’s.

Happy cooking!

Mom’s Beef Vegetable Soup

1 lb 95% lean Ground Beef (or ground meat of your choice)
2 Tbs cooking oil of your choice
2 cups combined total of diced onions, carrots and celery
1 Tbs of dried herb mix (I used McCormick’s Tuscan Mix)
4 cups of stock (chicken, beef or vegetable – canned or homemade)
1 – 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 – 14 oz can of spicy diced tomatoes (heat level of your choice)
4 cups shredded green cabbage
1 tsp table salt
Optional – Grated Parmesan Cheese

In a large 6+ qt stock pot or dutch oven, brown the ground beef.  Once browned, remove to a bowl to add later.  Remove any remaining fat or moisture, but do not clean the pan.  Add 2 Tbs of cooking oil of your choice.  Once oil is heated, add the diced vegetables and sauté until well softened.  Add dried herb mix, soup stock, and tomatoes stir until well combined.  Add the beef, cabbage and salt.  Place lid on pot and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Serve hot with warm bread and sprinkle a bit of Parmesan Cheese on top of soup.

Variation – Add a bit of cooked pasta like Ditalini or Macaroni to the bowl before you serve the soup.  Use your imagination and what you have in your refrigerator or garden!  This would be delicious with zucchini in place of cabbage or you could use already cooked meat that has been shredded in place of the ground meat.

p.s.  It freezes well!

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