A walk through my winter garden beds reveal damaged leaves from late evenings of below freezing temperatures, soggy root systems caused by the deluge of rain that quickly followed. A bed of stunning bok choy was given up as a sacrifice to save my large head cabbages from pesky garden pests. Mother Nature was not kind this season. I have put my hands up and surrendered to her wrath. As a tease to call me to the spring garden she left a few gems of cabbage, broccoli and carrots untouched in the garden.
One of the most amazing dishes to create from seasonally available vegetables is a great pot of soup, and nothing beats a good old-fashioned vegetable beef soup. This soup is loaded with colorful vegetables and provides comfort on a cold night, or any occasion is perfect.
The recipe below is delicious, hearty and dependable. Don’t hesitate to alter the vegetables you use in this recipe, change it up for what is locally available or in season.
Vegetable Beef SoupMakes 6 hearty servings
1 lb. ground chuck
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 cups chopped green cabbage
4-5 medium carrots sliced (thick cut)
1 yellow or red bell pepper, diced
1 cup cut green beans frozen or fresh
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 teaspoons, each dried oregano, basil and thyme
2 cups peeled and diced russet potatoes
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, add beef, brown, and transfer cooked hamburger to a bowl and set aside.
Add onions and garlic to the Dutch oven and sweat over medium heat until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, celery, basil, thyme and oregano. Partially cover and cook until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.
Stir in broth, tomatoes, broccoli florets, green beans and Worcestershire sauce. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer partially covered until potatoes are tender, 15 minutes.
Serve now or later. You can even freeze it.