Chunky Beef, Cabbage and Tomato Soup

Thanksgiving is coming and so are your house guests. What do you serve them the Thanksgiving Eve? Soup and bread. It’s the perfect dinner especially if it’s made ahead. I have made this soup many times. It’s great the day you make it, but it tastes better the next day. Can soup age like a fine wine? I think so! Make this Sunday and serve it Wednesday. All you have to do is reheat it. Perfect.

The original recipe gives you exact measurements for your vegetables. I never measure the Holy Trinity of cooking. Can you have too much onion? I think not. I dice up the carrots and celery, eyeballing it. The soup will taste great with too many carrots. Is that really a thing? I also prefer to use vegetable stock over beef stock. You could even use chicken stock. I like to slice the cabbage thinly, and then chop it into thirds. The slices are still large, but spoon ready. I also add a 1/2 cup of uncooked rice. Maybe  I add the rice because I spill everything on myself, or I just like a thick soup, I may need an adult bib. The recipe makes quite a bit of soup, so the rice per serving doesn’t add that many carbs. Ok? You can also eliminate the rice. Sigh. I don’t know you anymore. Also, I usually don’t like cooking with lean beef. It works perfectly in this recipe. If you don’t have lean beef, tilt the pan as the fattier beef cooks, scooping out the fat. Pour it off into a heat proof container. Why, yes, you can even use a coffee cup. Here’s another way to increase the healthiness, add leftover cooked veggies, or legumes. I just added some cooked lentils and cannellini beans that needed to be used up. Delicious. I find soup recipes are more guidelines than rules. Make it your own. I strongly suggest you chop up all your veggies before you start cooking. It makes cooking so much easier, if you are prepared. Let’s get cooking!

1 lb. 90% lean ground beef

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced carrot

28 ounces canned diced or crushed tomatoes

5 cups of chopped green cabbage (1 medium head)

4 cups beef stock

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup uncooked rice

The original recipe has directions for stove top and Insta Pot cooking. I use a big Dutch oven on my stove for my soups.

Heat your pan until water beads up, rolls and evaporates. Pour a tsp. of olive oil into hot pan. Add the ground beef and salt. Cook until the beef is browned, breaking the meat up into small pieces. Drain any fat.

Add the onion, celery, and carrots into the pot with the beef. Sauté the mixture until the vegetables soften. It should take about 5 minutes, give or take.

Add the canned tomatoes, cabbage, beef stock and bay leaves. Put the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes. As the cabbage cooks it will release some liquid. You can always add more broth or water if you want it thinner, but you can’t take away. At this point I add the uncooked rice, additional cooked items, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Stir occasionally checking on the liquid.

Voila! You have dinner. I like to buy frozen rolls to serve alongside this soup. In 10 minutes you have hot rolls waiting for good butter. Enjoy your dinner. Thanksgiving will come and go. Enjoy all of the moments!

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