Winter is a good time for comfort foods that warm your body and soul! I think we all have memories of a home cooked meal after coming in from the cold. I love stews and soups in the winter. When you make soups and stews, make a big pot so you can eat some and freeze some for later. Chili is also great to keep in the freezer for a great supper in a hurry. Just thaw in the microwave or heat slowly on top of the stove. Below is my recipe for an easy, good tasting vegetable soup!!
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large package of fresh beef stew meat
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large bottle of V8 or tomato juice
1 large box of beef broth
1 10-ounce package of frozen whole kernel corn
1 10-ounce package of frozen small butter beans
1 10-ounce package of frozen carrots
1 10-ounce package of frozen peas
1 large onion, chopped
1 head of celery, sliced thin
2 large cans of diced tomatoes
In a large, heavy bottom pot, pour oil and let it get hot on high or medium heat. Salt and pepper beef (be sure beef is dry – pat dry with paper towel). Add beef to hot oil in single layer, sear and brown all over; add onions and celery; reduce heat and wilt onions and celery. Cover with water and add beef broth and tomato juice. Cook until beef is tender. Add suggested vegetables or whatever vegetables you like; cook until vegetables are tender. (I add okra. If you add potatoes or rice, that will thicken your soup so, you may need to add more liquid.) Check for salt and pepper. Make some cornbread – umm, vegetable soup and cornbread will warm you up!
Fill freezer containers or freezer bags with enough for your family. You can have soup all winter long. You can certainly use fresh vegetables – make it in the summer when vegetables are plentiful; then you are ready for that first cold snap. Soup is great to share with friends. Someone under the weather? Take them some soup! Hope you enjoy!
May God Bless You!!
Elaine Barrett, along with husband, Rick, owns and operates The Flower Gazebo on Washington St., in downtown Albany and is part of a family of excellent southern cooks. She recently she has written and published a cookbook, “In the Kitchen with Elaine”.