Calabrian Style Beef Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

Nutrition analysis for 8 servings

1 T olive oil
1 lb lean minced or diced beef steak
1 cup sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery chopped
1 Calabrian hot chile, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
2 1/4 cups beef stock
1 (15 oz) can Italian tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 t ground garlic
3/4 t dried basil
1/2 t dried Mediterranean oregano
1/4 t dried rosemary
1/4 t dried thyme
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 medium red potatoes, cleaned, left unpeeled, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup cut green beans, fresh or frozen
1 T minced fresh parsley

Spoon Mage™ Note:

You may purchase a small sirloin steak or chuck roast and dice it, or purchase meat that has been minced by the butcher. The packet might say it is for chili. For this soup, it is best to not use ground meat which will end up making meat mush.

If you do not have Calabrian hot chiles, you may substitute a few splashes of Tabasco Sauce. One chile in a pot of soup won’t make it hot. The chile will add a hint of a background support flavor, serving as an accent to the other seasonings. If you omit the chile, you may want to add salt.

2 of those little 8.25 oz beef stocks from Kitchen Basics works perfectly here in place of measured stock.

If you are a salter, add a little before the potatoes; let it cook in a few minutes, then taste. Stop when it seems perfect to you.

This makes four nice servings. I’ve put it in the small batch category as it is perfect for two. Split into two separate days during the week. Just enjoy it with different sides.

Directions:

Set a 4 quart pot on the stove over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the minced beef. Stir infrequently until the beef browns well. If you end up with a lot of fat, pour off all but 1-2 tablespoons of it.

Add the onion, celery, hot pepper, and carrot. Stir one minute and then reduce the heat to medium. Continue to stir until the veggies start to brown a little.

Add the beef stock, crushed tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, and black pepper. Bring to a near boil, then reduce to medium low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir once or twice.

This would be a good time to check the flavors, especially if you are a salter.

Add the chopped red potatoes, recover, simmer for 15 minutes. Stir once.

Add the green beans and parsley, recover, simmer for 20 minutes or until the green beans are as soft as you like them. Stir and check a bean as often as you like.

Serve with baking powder biscuits, rolls, or cheesy bread.

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