For a weeknight meal, nothing beats Vegetable Soup with Ground Beef. Admittedly, this soup is comfort food. Nothing special, but hits the spot. I have, however, made two changes to the traditional approach making this even better — celeriac and vegetable stock. These are discussed below.
This soup can be thought of as a dump soup, you can use whatever you have in the refrigerator or as in this recipe, any combination of frozen vegetables. Experiment a few times and get a feel for what you like. I have added black beans, you may prefer black-eyed peas. You might prefer to add potatoes to the vegetables. I get the ideal, pretty much anything works under one condition: that is, the stock needs to be tasty, but not overwhelming.
Notes on Ingredients
Typically, vegetable soup calls for a few stalks of celery. I have replaced this with celeriac which provides a more intense, earthy flavor. Furthermore, I like the texture. The celeriac is chopped up into cubes about the fineness of the chopped onions. The end result is that the celeriac is not as mushy as celery.
Instead of beef or chicken stock, I use vegetable stock. Certainly, feel free to use store-bought, but for the best taste, I make my own Market Vegetable Stock. Throughout the year, I take cuttings from greens, broccoli, cauliflower, or just about anything on the plant that is edible but is a bit tough. I throw it in the freezer and after I have collected a good bit, I make stock. I may use the stock immediately or freeze it. Check this discussion for full instructions.
Notes on Technique
The order of adding the ingredients is the most important technique issue. Brown the meat, then the onions and celeriac. Lastly, add the stock and vegetables.
Otherwise, the only other issue to consider is you might prefer to make a day ahead and refrigerate so that you may skim any extra fat from the soup.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 4 ounces celeriac, chopped (or 2 or 3 stalks of celery)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 28 ounces canned tomatoes (see note 1)
- 5-6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 or 2 Bay Leaves
- 4-5 cups of frozen vegetables (see note 2)
- Salt and pepper
- 12 ounce can black beans, drained (see note 3)
- Brown the beef in a large stockpot. When fully cooked, spoon off most of the fat and released liquid. Add the onions and celeriac to saute for an additional 2 or 3 minutes.
- Add the stock and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes. While simmering, add the tomatoes. If using whole tomatoes cut into bite-sized chunks while adding. Continue to simmer a few more minutes to allow the tomatoes to cook a bit.
- Add the vegetables to the soup. Add salt and pepper to the soup to taste. Return to simmer and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the black beans and simmer for 5 more minutes. Taste one or two of the vegetables to determine if done. Adjust seasoning as needed.
- The soup is now ready but will improve if allowed to sit overnight in the refrigerator. If so, skim off congealed fat before serving.
Note 1: Diced tomatoes will work, as will whole tomatoes. Use what you have. Depending on your preference you can pour some or all of the tomato juice into the soup.
Note 2: Any combination of mixed vegetables will work. Just consider what goes well with beef. I generally like to make sure I have something green such as green beans or peas.
Note 3: Substitute white beans or black-eyed peas if you prefer.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 563Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 3034mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 25gSugar: 22gProtein: 34g
Calculated Nutrition is estimated.