I’m jumping right in with the meal plan. It’s a busy week ahead as I start my Basics II six-week series and get some recipe emails out to my newsletter list. I hope you all have a great week and cook up something delicious. Take a moment to look at your schedule and make a dinner plan! If you need a how-to workbook to help you plan your weeknight meals, download this freebie from my cooking school site.
When the temperature dips to a low 90 degrees, it’s soup season in Houston!
Hearty Beef and Vegetable Soup
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef (I prefer 90% lean)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 small red potatoes, cubed (no need to remove skin)
- 1 28-ounce can diced or whole peeled tomatoes and their juices
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste (I use tomato paste in a tube)
- 1 quart beef broth (chicken broth or vegetable broth is fine too!)
- 1 teaspoon thyme (fresh or dried)
- 1 teaspoon oregano (fresh or dried)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 2 to 3 cups cabbage or leafy greens, such as kale (center stem removed), Swiss chard, collard greens or spinach, roughly chopped
- Warm a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat; add the oil or spray. Add the ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon until it’s mostly cooked and has lost its raw red color. Add a generous sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper on the meat as it cooks.
- Add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté until softened and cooked down slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the bell pepper and garlic cloves and sauté another 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add green beans and leafy greens and stir. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if you’d like.
+ Be sure to cover the pot when you simmer the soup. If the vegetables soak up too much liquid and the soup looks dry, add water until you reach the desired consistency. Then stir and taste the soup again for salt.
+ If you have a piece of Parmesan rind, add about a 1-inch piece of rind to the soup as it simmers. Remove the parmesan rind before serving.
+ This is a great soup to freeze!
+ If you’d like, top each bowl of soup with grated parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Rigatoni with vodka sauce and steamed broccoli on the side.
I’m hosting an evening cooking class tonight so dinner will look a little different. I’m sure my teenagers will be excited for an excuse to have dinner out. If you’re cooking at home, try this creamy chicken florentine.