I hope it's better late than never to join the potluck with "Foodie Friday" over at Designs by Gollum. Since we're having very cold weather and snow and sleet -- nothing better to bring to the table than a hearty soup.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I took some Christmas money and bought a bunch of books from Amazon. (I'll bet your surprised it wasn't spent on dishes!) I had heard several people say that "Being Dead Is No Excuse" was a really fun read and it was! Even better it had some great recipes!
Since I love soup - the Homemade Vegetable Soup recipe really caught my eye.
Here's the recipe:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chicken breast tenders or 3 pounds cubed beef (I used the beef)
1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes or chopped whole tomatoes
1 large can (14.5) ounced) tomato sauce
1 large (1 pound) package frozen mixed vegetables
1 large or 2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced, rather chunky
3 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 quarts water
Melt the butter in a large pot and brown the chicken or beef. Remove the meat, add the onions and celery and saute briefly. Return the meat to the pot. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, vegetables, seasonings, and water.
Cook several hours. Sometimes I leave it on simmer for four or five hours. This can be seasoned along the way, as can most other recipes, though I find it perfect as is. I add any fresh begetables that I might have on hand. Butter beans, when available, are a wonderful addition.
So -- here we are ...just gettin started. Now I want to tell you about one or two things I did differently - I added a tablespoon of Minor's Beef Base (sort of a highly concentrated beef boulion) and by mistake, my package of frozen vegetables were "vegetable stew vegetables" -- which means that the mixture was carrots, celery, onions and potatoes rather than carrots, potatoes, green beans and corn which I think would be what you would normally expect to have in veg. soup. My husband really missed the corn more than I did ....so next time I'll get the "right stuff".
Here we are serving up soup - so warming for a Winter's meal -- the suggested compliments to this in the book were corn bread and salad...good choice...and of course sweet tea. (this is a southern ladies guide you know)
Time for the taste test. Now, I already told you that my husband missed the corn and on the first night, I could taste the butter flavor, which was neither good nor bad, just different from what I'm used to tasting in vegetable soup.
We both agreed that after the soup was chilled for a day in the refrigerator and all the flavors could "marry"- (as Paula Deen says) -- it was really much better. I think many soups are better the second day. So my suggestion is to fix this soup .... then save it for the second day to get the full flavor benifit (and I didn't get the butter taste the next day).
Hope everyone has a warm and wonderful weekend -- whatever you're cooking up!
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