I can’t think of a better way to get my daily veggies on a cold winter evening than a beautiful, warm soup. And if it’s easy to make… and super cheap, well, we have us a deal!
I’ve been eating this soup since I can remember being alive and making it since I was probably around 12. It was one of the meals I made most often as I was learning to cook for my family (5 kids including me, plus mom and dad. But my siblings are older so they weren’t always around.) Anyway, back to my story; this soup, along with spaghetti, were my go-to meals. Not that we called them that way back then, but that’s what they were.
We did it the hard way then. Defrost the chunk of hamburger from the freezer. (Is mine the only family that calls it hamburger instead of ground beef?) Peel and cut some carrots, go all the way down to the basement (where there could very well be a child-eating lizard) and bring back a jar each of green beans and tomatoes. (I will admit, home-canned is way better than what I’m currently feeding my family and worth a trip to the basement!), cook the beef, make the soup, add some pasta. Yes, we always used elbow macaroni in ours, which actually was way easier than peeling and cubing potatoes, so “the old way” gets a point there. Hubby doesn’t care for pasta in his soup and I’m careful when to use my “I’m the cook, take it or leave it” card, so potatoes it is.
I’ve moved to an easier way to have soup. On freezer cooking day I cook enough beef to make 4-6 batches of soup. For us that’s about 3 pounds. I peel a bunch of potatoes (which I hate doing and it’s enough to make me not want to make soup after a long busy day) and I make sure I enough veggies and tomatoes for several batches. I mix all the ingredients except the water and freeze it in meal-sized portions in gallon freezer bags. Oh the joy when meal time comes around and all I have to do is put the soup in a pan and add some water!
If you’re new to freezer cooking this is a really good place to start.
To make if fresh (instead of for the freezer) just cook your ground beef, add all the other ingredients and cover it with water and simmer until the potatoes are done-about 10-15 minutes. We often have ours with grilled-cheese sandwiches but crackers will do just fine!
Here’s the recipe:
- ½ LB ground beef
- ½ onion, chopped small
- 1 can tomatoes (chopped, stewed, whatever)
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 1 med. potato, peeled and chopped
- 3 cups frozen mixed veggies
- 1 bay leaf
- Brown ground beef and onion in a large soup pot.
- Peel potatoes, rinse and chop into small pieces.
- Add potato and all other ingredients to cooked beef.
- Add enough water to make it look like soup.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes.
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