Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Southwest Beef and Vegetable Soup

Okay, I admit it.  This was not going to be the next recipe I posted.  However, two important things happened to change my master plan.  (Well, maybe master plan is a bit of an overstatement.  I'm not nearly THAT organized.)

First, I had a pound and a half of ground beef leftover from the meatloaf that needed to be used up.

Second, and most importantly, I got a new toy and I really neeeeeeded to use it. 

Isn't she pretty?  I've named her Ruby.  She's my precious....

All movie references aside, I've been looking at enameled cast iron for a while now.  I really do love the Le Creuset dutch ovens, but I haven't been able to justify buying a pot that would cost me more than I spent out of pocket for the birth of my firstborn.  This dutch oven was made by the Lodge company, famous for their cast iron pieces, and was MUCH more affordable.  I love her already.

With that said, here's what you need to go and gather up for this super simple soup:

Ground beef, onion, green pepper, corn (canned, fresh or frozen), garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, pinto beans.  And cumin...once again, pretend you see it here.  It's just late to the party.

In the soup pot that makes your heart sing, brown your ground beef along with 1 cup of chopped onion and one chopped bell pepper.

Once your meat has browned drain off all of the extra grease.  We're healthy and all in the New Year, right?

You'll end up with a nice looking mix of beef and softened green pepper and onion.

Add 4 cups of beef broth, a can of diced tomatoes, and a small can of tomato sauce.

Measure out about a teaspoon or so of minced garlic and add it to the mix.

Drain and rinse your beans.  I used pinto and kidney beans this time, but I've also been known to use black beans and red beans as well.  It just depends on what I can find in my pantry at the time.  After you've drained and rinsed the beans, add them to the soup along with a cup and a half of corn.  I like frozen corn because it's always stocked in my freezer, but you can use fresh or canned if you prefer.

There's that pesky cumin.  I really, really love the flavor of cumin.  Unfortunately, my sweet husband is not a big fan of the cumin. 

So I only added a half teaspoon to my soup.  I'm not ashamed to say I pouted a little while doing that either.  If I were just making this for me, though, I probably would have added 2 teaspoons.  To start.

After you've added it all in, give it a good mix and bring it to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook for about 20-30 minutes, depending on how hungry your family is.  You don't have to cover it.  But if you, oh-I don't know, just bought a spectacular new pot, feel free to throw the lid on to try it out.  You have my permission.

Serve this with shredded cheese and sour cream for a warm, hearty meal during this chilly winter.  Enjoy!

Southwest Beef and Vegetable Soup

1 1/2 pound ground beef
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups beef broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups corn
2 cans beans (kidney, pinto, black, red)
1/2 to 2 teaspoons cumin according to your preference

In a soup pot, brown ground beef with bell pepper and onion.  Drain excess fat.  Add beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, corn, beans and cumin.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream.  Enjoy!

*Note:  If you have someone in your family who isn't big on cumin, go easy in the pot but add more to your own bowl.  It's not quite the same as being melded into the soup; but it's still pretty tasty.

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