Stuffed Pepper Soup

I know the weather is warming up (some days) but I still wanted to share this soup recipe with you all. It is my new favorite comfort food soup. I stumbled across it somewhere online this winter and have made it several times. I’ve even made it for folks as dinner when they’ve had illnesses or surgeries – and everyone just raves about it.

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The great thing about this soup (other than the taste) is that it is very easy to make, requires ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry, and can be easily scaled up or down to make more or less as you need.  I’ve made it with one pound of ground beef for a small batch that lasted me a week’s worth of lunches and I’ve made it with three pounds to feed two families.  All you do is add or subtract ingredients as you need to size up or down.

The recipe below is the “base” recipe which uses one pound of ground beef.  If you go up from there, you might play with the proportions of bell peppers and tomatoes to get the ratio you prefer.

This truly tastes like stuffed peppers in soup form. Except, to me, it’s even better.

One other thing to note. I keep my rice separate until I serve it so that it doesn’t soak up all of the broth.  I also usually use leftover rice.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 bell peppers, roughly chopped (1 if they’re large, 2 if they’re small)
1 can of petite diced tomatoes
1 large beef bullion cube (or 1 box/can of beef broth)
1 can tomato soup (I have also used a small can of tomato sauce when I was out of the soup)
Houston House Seasoning
1 tsp sugar (to taste – takes out the bitterness from the tomato)
1 tsp minced garlic
1-2 cups COOKED rice

  1. Brown ground beef in a large stockpot. Season with House seasoning while cooking.
  2. Add minced garlic, onion and peppers and sauté until the vegetables are slightly tender.
  3. Add broth (or bullion and water), tomatoes, tomato soup, and House seasoning.
  4. Bring to a boil and add sugar as needed for bitterness from tomatoes.
  5. Simmer on the stove for about 30 minutes on low.
  6. To serve, spoon some rice in the bottom of a bowl and ladle soup on top.

It tastes even better the next day. Smile

Black Bean Soup on a chilly Monday

It’s chilly here today – almost like Spring and Summer got mixed up. It was warm in February/March and now that we’re knocking on the door of May it decides to be cool and windy. Go figure.

Because it was in the 40’s this morning and my little toes were frozen, I decided soup would be a good bet for lunch today.  And because I have been craving black bean soup from my favorite restaurant and they only make it on Wednesdays (and I never seem to get out on Wednesdays for lunch) I decided that I’d make some here at home.

Traditionally, I make black bean soup from dried beans. It’s a labor-intensive, time-consuming process which is really not worth it because I’m the only one in my house who really likes black bean soup.  SuperMan will eat it, but it probably isn’t his first choice of things to eat.  The girls are grossed out by it and won’t even give it a try (hoping one day that changes)

So, because of this, I rarely make black bean soup at home – and eat it out almost as rarely because, as I said earlier, my favorite place to eat it only makes it once a week and I am not usually there on that day to eat it.

I decided today to do a little experiment and try making some using canned black beans. I keep these on hand all the time as I love them in chili and in my quesadillas, etc.  So, why not, I thought?

The result was yummy goodness.

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I thoroughly enjoyed my little bowl of goodness and have enough for lunch all week, unless SuperMan decides to sample some himself one day.

Super easy and super quick to make. I think I made it from beginning to end in less than 20 minutes.  It would make a great meatless meal one night.

Black Bean Soup

Ingredients:

2 cans black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes (you can substitute a jar of salsa or can of diced tomatoes with chilies if you don’t have these)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup minced onion (about 1/4 of a small onion)
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cilantro (dried)
~ 1 cup chicken broth
olive oil
salt/pepper

  1. In a small stock pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion & garlic until onions begin to become translucent. Be careful not to burn the garlic. (use medium heat)
  2. While this is sautéing, rinse your beans and dump them, along with the tomatoes, in a food processor.  Pulse a few times until the beans are slightly creamy. You can determine how “chunky” or creamy you want this to be.
  3. Add the tomato/bean mixture to the stock pot.
  4. Add chicken broth until soup is desired consistency.
  5. Add cumin, chili powder, cilantro & salt/pepper.  Simmer 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is hot & flavors combine.
  6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some tortilla chips.
I also added about 3-4 tsp of my favorite tomatillo salsa to my soup when I ate it.

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Souper Easy ~ Souper Good

I am a big fan of soups – especially in the fall and winter.

I love how they make my house smell when I’m cooking them – homey and warm and welcoming.

I love how they feel when they’re in my tummy – warm and filling.

I love how they feed my family healthy things that taste great and fill them up inside.

I love that I can usually get multiple meals out of one preparation… especially if you pair it with some good bread or a salad.

I made this soup the other day with some leftover vegetables. That’s another thing I love about soups- that I can clean out the crisper and makes something good at the same time.image

This soup is one of those “clean out the ‘fridge” recipes. So, use your own veggies that you have on hand – don’t think you have to match my recipe exactly.

I let this cook overnight in my crock pot on low and then SuperMan and I have been eating on it for lunch all week.

Clean out the Crisper Soup

2-3 celery stalks, chopped
onion, chopped
~2 tbsp minced garlic (to taste)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 box beef broth
1 beef bullion cube
~1 cup corn kernels
~1 cup butter beans
~1 cup spinach leaves (chopped or julienned)
~1 cup carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
~1 cup frozen hash brown potatoes
Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Sauté the peppers, onion, celery and garlic in some olive oil until transparent.
  2. In crock pot, combine remaining ingredients, adding sautéed vegetables when they’re done.
  3. Set crock pot on low and cook 6-8 hours.

I also added some leftover roast beef and gravy that was taking up space in my refrigerator.

You can also make this more hearty by adding a cup of barley about an hour before serving, but you may need to add more broth if you do that as the barley will soak up some of the broth as it rehydrates.

I buy Publix’s frozen diced hash brown potatoes. They are great for soups and stews and no potato chopping!

Use whatever veggies you have on hand. I have used squash, zucchini, green beans, peas, etc.  before as well.

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Menu Plan Monday ~ 20 September

mealplanmonday_v2Planning out this week’s menu wasn’t too difficult. 

I knew I wanted something special on Tuesday (it’s my birthday) and then I had a list of recipes I’d flagged from other menus I’ve seen – so it was just a matter of pulling it all together into a single list.

Big Girl is home sick today so I think I’m going to change my original plan and make some soup for tonight’s dinner.  Here’s what’s on the agenda for the week:

  • Pasta Fagioli (this is major comfort food for me – my grandma used to make this)
  • Grilled steaks, boiled & buttered potatoes, steamed broccoli (This is my birthday dinner)
  • Stir Fry Chicken (a friend made this for us for dinner Sunday night – it was yummy)  I’ll make this with whole wheat pasta and maybe add some more stir-fry veggies.
    She also made this for dessert – it was sooo good. I will be making it here at home as soon as I get the ingredients. I think I can make a sugar-free version that would be just as good. If you like Reese's peanut butter cups, you need to try this. It tastes like a cold, pudding version of a peanut butter cup.
  • Meatball Subs (I’ll make a variation of this recipe and let the girls help me make the meatballs. I think they will like that.) Cheesy Volcano Meatballs

Friday, we will be eating out and the weekend will be filled with SuperMan’s high school reunion activities.

What are you eating this week?  Join us over at orgjunkie.com and link up your Menu Plan Monday.

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