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Homemade Tomato Soup (with Grilled Cheese, of Course!)

11 Feb
Homemade Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Homemade Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

I have been wanting to try my hand at homemade tomato soup for years, especially since we grow and can our own tomatoes. When my friend Suzanne over at Pug in the Kitchen posted this recipe, I knew it was time. Besides, I had a can of San Marzano tomatoes that had been in my pantry over a year, and what about those 20 pints of canned jars of tomatoes I forgot about in the garage? How did I forget about canning those from the fall? I grabbed a few for my pantry lest I forget again.

This soup comes together quite easily after some initial prep. And if you are wondering how long it takes for tomatoes to caramelize in a hot oven, it takes 18 minutes according to the smoke alarm that went off during my 20-minute timer. I suggest using a vent fan during this process. 😉

My husband was amazed at the taste of this soup. According to him, it did not taste like tomato soup from a can. Errrmmm… We’ll leave it at that. Oh, and don’t forget to cook up some ooey-gooey grilled cheese sammies for dunking! We used sourdough bread and a combination of Monterrey jack, sharp yellow cheddar, and pepper jack that was leftover from Super Bowl. This makes about 3 to 4 dinner-size servings.

Homemade Tomato Soup
Adapted from Tomato Soup at A Pug in the Kitchen

1 28-ounce can San Marzano or good quality tomatoes, liquid reserved
1 pint homemade canned tomatoes (about 1 large cup fresh), liquid reserved
Ground pepper and sea salt, to taste
Olive oil, for tomatoes and vegetables
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 bay leaf
Small piece of Parmesan rind
3 large leaves fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
Additional basil, chiffoned for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place all the drained tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Season to taste with ground black pepper and sea salt. Roast until caramelized or until your smoke alarm goes off (18 to 20 minutes).

Roasted and Caramelized Tomatoes

Roasted and Caramelized Tomatoes

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion and cook until they start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook about a minute more until fragrant. Add the roasted tomatoes and the reserved tomato juice (About 2 cups, add water if you don’t have that much. My canned tomatoes had a lot of of liquid.) Also add the bay leaf and cheese rind. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes until vegetables are very tender. Remove the bay leaf, then add the chopped basil. Taste for seasoning.

Simmering Soup

Simmering Soup

Pour into a large blender and puree until smooth (or use an immersion blender if you have one. I need one!) Return soup to the pot, then add the butter and cream and stir until incorporated. Keep warm while you griddle up some grilled cheese. Ladle into bowls, top with additional basil, and serve immediately with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Homemade Tomato Soup

Homemade Tomato Soup

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Turkey, Lentil, and Mixed Brown Rice Soup ~ Food52 Community Pick!

4 Nov
Turkey Lentil and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

Turkey Lentil and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

I’m happy to announce my recipe for Turkey, Lentil, and Mixed Brown Rice Soup was selected by the editors of Food52 cooking website as a Community Pick in their “Your Best Recipe with Thanksgiving Leftovers” contest!

Now I just have to make it to the finals and people can vote, but you have a chance to test it now and send in your testing notes! Unfortunately I omitted an ingredient from the ingredients list but it is in the instructions. I’ve asked the editors if they can fix that for me, as I can’t edit a recipe during an active contest. (It was 1/2 cup chopped onion in case you’re interested.)

Here’s a link to the selections:—> Food52 Community picks

And here’s a link to my original recipe that has a handy-dandy printable PDF! (Although you can also print my recipe from Food52.) —> Turkey, Lentil, and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

I plan on having a new recipe up this weekend too. Crazy weather here too for November today, sunny and mid-60s! Unheard of!

The Return of The Klutz and a Tasty Veggie Soup

8 Oct
Potato Leek and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Potato Leek and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

We’re back from our 20th wedding anniversary trip to our RV property on the Siletz River on the Central Coast of Oregon. Not too newsworthy unless I mention the fact that I pretty much shattered my left middle finger on the second day there in a boat launch accident.  I had surgery on the finger the day after we got back, and am now entrapped in a traction device. I don’t have the sling anymore at least, that was just to hold up my arm until the nerve block wore off.  After the recipe so you get to look at a few of “exciting” photos of the trip if you want. 🙂

Finger Traction Device

Finger Traction Device ~ Only the second one made at the clinic, lucky me!

Yet, I’m feeling for ya’! So I’ll share a yummy soup recipe I made just before we left first. It’s the least I can do. I only got a couple of pics since I was also packing for the week.

p.s. I finally purchased a sous vide immersion circulator! I’ve been experimenting it (with the hubby’s help since I’m down to one hand, but so far so good!) Just had an awesome chuck roast beef stew cooked 26 hours at 165F then seared with pan gravy made from juices in bag. I’ll start posting those those types of recipes when I can. Picture-taking is mighty hard at the present. Typing with one hand is not exactly a picnic either…

Potato, Leek, and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs
Adapted from Food and Wine

3 cloves unpeeled garlic
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 cup sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
1 pound Russet or other potatoes, peeled and chopped small
2 cups broccoli florets, coarsely chopped small
2 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 cups Half and Half
Wedge of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Salt or Mrs. Dash and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup cubed sourdough bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 cup finely chopped pancetta
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon dried and crushed rosemary (or 1 teaspoon fresh)

Wrap garlic cloves in foil and bake at 400F degrees for 35 minutes. Remove and let cool then peel and add to a food processor or blender.

In a soup pot or Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the leeks, potatoes and broccoli and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the leeks start to soften. Add the chicken stock and 3 1/2 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat until all of the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Working in batches, add soup to the garlic in the food processor or blender, amd puree the soup until very smooth. Return the puree to the pot and stir in the Half and Half and wedge of lemon juice. Season the soup with salt or Mrs. Dash and pepper. Keep warm on low.

Meanwhile, pulse the bread cubes in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. In a skillet, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the tablespoon of oil. Add the pancetta, sage, rosemary and bread crumbs and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the crumbs and pancetta are browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the pancetta crumbs, and enjoy!

Potato Leek and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Potato Leek and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Here are some pics from our vacation:

An armada of Kayakers on the Siletz River

An armada of kayakers on the Siletz River

Neighbor and hubby showing off the Dungeness crab

Neighbor and hubby showing off the Dungeness crab

Me showing off some crabs

Me showing off some crabs

Our Dungeness crab haul for the day

Our Dungeness crab haul for the day

 

Our Anniversary Dinner

Our Anniversary Dinner ~ Tee Hee!

New deck

Hubby built a new deck out of our old dock that washed away in flooding last year

 

 

Good Ol’ Shrimp Boil Potato Salad

17 Aug
Good Ol' Shrimp Boil Potato Salad

Good Ol’ Shrimp Boil Potato Salad ~ We decimated more than half this meal before I remembered to take a photo!!!

This is a tasty, quick and easy meal to prepare, especially when you are about to head out of town for 5 days for another fishing trip to the coast. This time, Halibut Fishing! Many of you might remember my shark adventure from couple of years ago when we tried to catch halibut, and on the same trip my hubby caught a manta ray! Hopefully we’ll get the right species this time around.

Kathryn the Shark Woman

Kathryn the Shark Woman

I saw this recipe in my most recent issue of Southern Living magazine, and with lots of shrimp in the freezer, it called my name. This takes very little time to prepare, especially if you use my “secret” Bundt-pan corn trick, shown below from another post. (I do actually stick a corn-cob holder in the top to stabilize the corn when cutting, but I had no helper to take a photo when I shot this. The foibles of food photography!)

Cutting the Corn off the Cob

Cutting the Corn off the Cob

I couldn’t find Creole mustard at the store that it called for (well, I do live in Oregon) but a quick google search came up with an easy substitute with items I had on hand.

I hope you enjoy this as much as me and my husband did, eating al fresco out on our back deck in glorious sunny weather. This tastes great warm or cold, I had leftovers the next day cold and just WOW! The flavors really intensified. This would be a great potluck or picnic meal, no mayo!

Good Ol’ Shrimp Boil Potato Salad
Adapted from Southern Living

1/4 pound smoked sausage, cut into thin slices
1 1.5-ounce package boil-in-bag shrimp-and-crab boil (I used McCormick’s)
1/2 pound baby red potatoes
1 ear fresh sweet corn, husks removed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons course-ground Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Several dashes of Tabasco
2 green onions, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
A few shakes of paprika
1/2 teaspoon horseradish sauce
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp

Brown the sausage over high heat in a skillet for just a few minutes, remove and set aside. Add the crab boil packet, potatoes, and corn cob with enough water to cover an inch over the veggies over high heat.

Once boiling, cook for about 10 more minutes until potatoes are softened.

Meanwhile, whisk together the rest of the ingredients except the shrimp in a bowl.

Once potatoes are done, add the shrimp and cooked sausage, turn off heat, then cover for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, drain and pour the food into a large serving bowl. Remove the corn and cut the kernels off the cob and add the kernels to the bowl. (I halved the potatoes after they were done but failed to add that to the PDF version recipe.) Pour the seasoned lemon/oil mixture over it, and stir to combine well. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. YUMMMM!

I won’t have a post up again for about a week and a half, don’t miss me too much, lol. 😀

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

 

 

Homemade Sweet and Spicy Chile Sauce and Shrimp Spring “Unrolls”

29 May
Sweet and Spicy Chile Sauce with Spring Unrolls

Sweet and Spicy Chile Sauce with Shrimp Spring Unrolls

I tried. I really really tried. I wanted to make shrimp spring rolls to go with this amazing chile sauce I came up with, but spring rolls were not to be. During the fourth attempt at rolling the same rice paper, it fought back and exploded in the middle, dumping the contents onto the plate below. I threw my hands in the air, added more lettuce to the mix, and used the dipping sauce as a salad dressing. Take that spring unroll!

It was quite delicious, if I don’t say so myself! I wish I made more of the chile sauce, as it really does make an amazing salad dressing and of course would go great with spring or egg rolls too. I let hubby roll his own, and he didn’t have much success either. I think we both tried to put too much in each one. But we both ended up with a lovely meal, mess and all.

Rather than bore you with all the details of what went in my “salad,” I basically used the same recipe that I used another time a made spring rolls, but used medium whole shrimp instead of diced deli shrimp and switched up a few of the veggies/herbs. Recipe here —> Shrimp and Vegetable Spring Rolls with a Spicy Peanut Sauce. OK let’s get to the chile sauce (and double this up if you want more to grace your fridge for future use):

Homemade Sweet and Spicy Chile Sauce
Adapted from picturetherecipe.com

4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Sambal Oelek
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with same amount of water
3/4 teaspoon fish sauce

Add the sugar to a small sauce pan, then whisk in the rice vinegar and water. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a boil, whisking until sugar is dissolved.

Whisking the Chile Sauce

Whisking the Chile Sauce

Add the minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and Sambal Oelek. (You can substitute Sriracha if you don’t have any.)

Adding the Sambal Oelek

Adding the Sambal Oelek ~ Shhh! It’s the secret ingredient!

Turn heat down and let simmer for several minutes until it slightly thickens.

Whisk in the cornstarch slurry, then simmer at a high bubble until the sauce clears and thickens. Turn off heat, stir in the fish sauce, then set aside to cool down.

Cooling the Chile Sauce

Cooling the Chile Sauce

Once cool, store in airtight bottle in the refrigerator until ready to use. Serve as a dipping sauce with spring rolls, or as a sweet/spicy dressing to any salad.

Sweet and Spicy Chile Sauce with Spring Unrolls

Sweet and Spicy Chile Sauce with Shrimp Spring Unrolls

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Turkey Chipotle Posole

30 Apr
Turkey Chipotle Posole

Turkey Chipotle Posole

As a lot of you know, I’m a spicy kind of gal, and I like spicy food. This posole, which is a traditional Mexican soup/stew, makes good use of leftover turkey or even chicken. I bought a deli-roasted turkey breast recently for a quick week-night dinner, but with the daughter not eating at home that night we were left with a bunch of leftover cooked turkey breast.

We had a cold snap, and what better thing to make in a cold snap is a nice spicy, warming stew? This ended up making more than I thought it would, but ate the rest for lunches.  Don’t scrimp on the toppings, as the cabbage, lime, and radishes really complete this. And you can always cut way back on the spices/chiles for a milder version.

After opening a few cans and a little chopping, dicing, and processing, this posole comes together in a snap all in one pot. I always freeze any leftover canned goods, clearly labeled, for future use. I can’t imagine ever using an entire can of chipotle peppers in a recipe unless I am feeding an army. And my local grocer only sells 30-ounce cans of hominy, which, after draining the liquid, yields about 2 cups of hominy. Hominy freezes well too.  Even if it’s already warm in your neck of the woods, do try this flavorful posole, if anything to warm your heart. Plus it also gives you good reason to open a bottle of Mexican beer to wash it down! UPDATE: A kind reader reminded me that Cinco de Mayo is coming up. So hey, why not make it for that day?!

Turkey Chipotle Posole

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 to 1 canned chipotle in adobo sauce (or less), diced fine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons Ancho or Pasilla chile powder (or other or less)
2 cups cooked and shredded turkey or chicken
4 cups homemade or low sodium turkey or chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 corn tortilla, processed fine
1 cup hominy, white or yellow is fine
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Ground black pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
Shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, and lime wedges, for garnish

Puree, Peppers, and Hominy

Puree, Peppers, and Hominy

Open up all those cans and chop/slice/dice all the veggies.

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the next 6 ingredients (through the chile powder), and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Spicy Veggie Base

Spicy Veggie Base

Add the remaining ingredients except the garnishes, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or until ready to eat.

Posole Ready to Simmer and Cover

Posole Ready to Simmer and Cover

Ladle into bowls, and garnish with fresh sliced cabbage, sliced radishes, and a lime wedge to squeeze into the stew. (Don’t forget the beer to wash it all down!)

Turkey Chipotle Posole

Turkey Chipotle Posole

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Quick and Easy Ham and White Bean Soup

23 Apr
Quick and Easy Ham and White Bean Soup

Quick and Easy Ham and White Bean Soup

Spring has been on a springboard in my neck of the woods in terms of temperature. While it is now seasonably cool, we had a great stretch of really warm and sunny weather for the last week. With cooler weather, there is nothing better than a hot bowl of comforting soup. And with leftover ham and ham broth in the freezer, this meal was a snap!

After I took my photos, hubs and I both decided we wanted it creamier so I processed half of it in my Ninja then stirred it back in. This step is optional, and I didn’t even take another photo of it creamy that way as I can be lazy that way. Just like you can be lazy in making this soup as it’s that easy!

Quick and Easy Ham and White Bean Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup each chopped onion, celery, and carrots
4 ounces chopped ham
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups ham broth (you can sub in chicken or veggie broth)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
Small sprig of thyme
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke (I used Stubb’s Hickory)
1/8 teaspoon smoked Paprika

The Holy Trinity

The Holy Trinity

Saute the veggies in the oil until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

Ham, Veggies, and Spices

Ham, Veggies, and Spices

Add the ham, garlic and spices and cook 2 to 3 minutes more.

Ham Broth and Beans

Ham Broth and Beans

Pour in the ham broth and beans. Add the rest of the seasonings, and taste to adjust.

Simmering the Ham and Bean Soup

Simmering the Ham and Bean Soup

Simmer for about a half hour or more until ready to eat. Optional: Puree half the soup in a blender or processor and stir back in before serving.

Ta-Dah!

Quick and Easy Ham and White Bean Soup

Quick and Easy Ham and White Bean Soup

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Spicy Shrimp and Leek Pot Pie

27 Mar
Spicy Shrimp and Leek Pot Pie

Spicy Shrimp and Leek Pot Pie

We’ve been on a bit of a shrimp binge lately (not a bad thing) as we scored some shrimp at an awesome price recently. Earlier in the day before I cooked this, I made a pot of golden shrimp stock from my hoard of frozen shrimp shells. I ended up with over 8 cups of gorgeous broth!

Golden Shrimp Stock

Golden Shrimp Stock

Since I am an admitted failure at all things pastry, I decided to use frozen puff pastry for this, but all I could find at the store I went to were these completely odd-shaped puff pastry disks that puff up to an enormous height (for a pot pie cover, that is).

Puff Pastry Shells

Well this was a half-baked idea…

Being the complete ignoramus that I am (admittedly again) about all things bread, I had this stupid ingenious idea to bake them halfway until half-puffed, then place them on the pot pies to finish baking. Well. That didn’t work as I expected as they never fully puffed up all the way. So we’ll just ignore the puffs in the photos and focus on the heart of the dish, which is this completely amazing spicy/veggie/shrimp yummy mixture that you end up with and who the heck cares about the puff, right??

The only other thing to note about this recipe is that I’ll probably parboil the potatoes first next time. It took WAY longer than I expected to soften during the sauté process, even though they were diced fairly small.

Many thanks to Culinary Chronicles for this inspiration. I adapted it quite a bit for the ingredients I had, but certainly head over to look at her recipe as she seems to have a better handle on what a puff pastry should look like when cooked properly. 😀

Aside from the lame puff, both me and the hubs really enjoyed this a LOT. Hubby liked it so much he ate two ramekins of it that night. I reserved the last one for my lunch the next day. (And I even cheated and threw out the old puff and puffed up a new one for it, ha!)

p.s. (Happy Easter to all those who celebrate! We’ll be having the obligatory ham with asparagus and my Pecorino Romano Scalloped Potatoes.)

Spicy Shrimp and Leek Pot Pie
Adapted from Culinary Chronicles Shrimp Pot Pie

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced carrots
1 cup chopped leeks, white and light green parts only, washed thoroughly and drained
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup diced red potatoes
1/4 dry sherry (good quality, not cooking sherry)
1/2 pound (8 ounces) raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce, or to taste
1/8 cup flour
1 cup homemade Shrimp Stock or use good quality store-bought seafood stock
1/4 cup Half and Half (or milk)
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten with a splash of water
Frozen puff pastry (sheets if you can find them)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Chop the veggies and shrimp into even bite-sized pieces.

Chopped Potatoes and Leeks

Chopped Potatoes and Leeks

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat then add the celery, carrots, leeks, and potatoes. Sauté until softened, about 20 minutes.

Colorful Veggies

Colorful Veggies!

Meanwhile, toss the shrimp with the Sriracha sauce until evenly seasoned. Set aside.

Add the garlic and thyme sprigs to the skillet and cook for a few more minutes. Pour in the sherry and let it reduce for a few minutes.

Shrimp and Peas Added

Shrimp and Peas Added

Meanwhile whisk the flour and shrimp or seafood stock together in a bowl and set aside. Mix the shrimp and thawed peas to the skillet.

Pour flour slurry into the skillet and cook for several more minutes. Add the Half and Half or milk, whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened.

Shrimp Pot Pie Filling

Shrimp Pot Pie Filling

Remove the skillet from the heat then take out the thyme sprigs. Season the mixture with sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste.

Ladle the filling into individual ramekins or other ovenproof dishes. Cover each dish with a puff pastry and brush with the egg/water wash. As a treat for any pets you might have, microwave the rest of the egg as a treat for them!

Place the pot pies onto a baking sheet lined with foil, then transfer to the preheated oven. Bake the pies for about 20 minutes until the crusts are golden brown. Remove and let cool a few minutes. Serve with a side salad.

Spicy Shrimp and Leek Pot Pie2

Spicy Shrimp and Leek Pot Pie (This is my next day lunch pie.)

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Egg in Carne Guisada Heaven

13 Jan
Egg in Carne Guisada Heaven

Egg in Carne Guisada Heaven

Here’s a surprise mid-week post from me! I made this for lunch a couple of days go from leftover Carne Guisada I made over the weekend. Carne Guisada is heaven. It is one of my go-to crockpot meals that just screams delicious Tex-Mex. I make this as often as I can. Get the recipe here —–> Carne Guisada

Carne Guisada Simmering

Carne Guisada Simmering

And as usual, I had leftovers. So what better way to make use of the leftovers than to plop an egg in the middle and cook to your liking?

Egg in Heaven Almost

Egg in Heaven ~ Almost

Oh man, this was so scrumptious! I let the egg white set on the bottom, then covered it with a lid for one minute to set the top.

Egg is Now In Heaven

Egg is Now In Heaven

Mind you this is a 5-inch cast-iron pan, a mini. So yes, I ate it right out of the pan. Slurp, slurp! Hardly any cleanup!

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

14 Nov
Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

I probably sound like a broken record, but I LOVE SOUP SEASON! A few weeks ago I grabbed the rest of the beef marrow bones out of the freezer and decided to make a huge pot of beef bone soup stock. We have a new quarter side of beef on the way for our freezer and it was way past due to finish using those up.

Beef Bone Stock

Beef Bone Stock

After that task was accomplished, of course I had to make some soup out of that rich, golden broth. Our grass-fed ground beef from last year was long gone, but my hubby bought a fancy electric meat grinder and he ground up a bunch of chuck and made 3/4-pound bags for the freezer. That amount makes so much more sense for our family than a pound since there are only three of us.

Also out of the freezer came some frozen tomatoes from our harvest. All I had to do was run hot water over them and the skins slipped right off!

Armed with these ingredients, I set off to make some soup. I cobbled together more ingredients out of the pantry and fridge (including some almost expired fresh spinach) and this is what I came up with:

Ground Beef and Lentil Soup Ingredients

Ground Beef and Lentil Soup Ingredients

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups crushed tomatoes with liquid (or a 14.5-ounce can)
4 cups low-sodium beef broth, preferably homemade
1 cup dry green lentils
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Large handful fresh spinach, roughly chopped
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Ground Beef and Veggies

Ground Beef and Veggies

Add the ground beef, onion, carrots, and celery in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. In this case I used my pressure cooker pot. (Stay tuned, confession time coming!) Cook over medium heat and stir until meat is brown and vegetables are starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

Next add the tomatoes (I crushed them with my hands when adding them) plus the liquid, the beef broth, lentils, oregano, and sugar. (The small amount of sugar offsets the acidity in the tomatoes.) Stir to combine.

Soup Ingredients Ready to Finish Cooking

Soup Ingredients Ready to Finish Cooking

CONFESSION TIME: At this point, I honestly do not remember if I actually pressure cooked this or just finished simmering uncovered. Really! I know I used my pressure cooker pot from the photos. Did I use it because I intended on pressure cooking the lentils, or did I use it because all my other large pots were used up from making the beef stock earlier in the day? This was only a few weekends ago! Please don’t laugh at me, laugh WITH me!

Nonetheless, either pressure-cook this for 20 minutes, or simmer it uncovered for about an hour. After the lentils are soft, add in the chopped spinach and stir until wilted.

Chopped Spinach Added

Chopped Spinach Added

Taste test, then add sea salt and ground pepper, to taste. I thought the soup needed just a tad more flavor boost, so added a couple of teaspoons of balsamic vinegar. Perfect. Soup’s on! Serve with crusty bread.

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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