Cooler temperatures and soup seem to go hand in hand. It's when many of us pull out our favorite cookbook in search of a soup we know our family will enjoy.
A family favorite I've been cooking and serving for years is simply called "Vegetable Soup with Ground Beef" - it's one of those enduring recipes that my family asks for each time the temperature drops.
The ingredients are easy to gather at the grocery store and it doesn't take any time at all to assemble. And if you're not into chopping vegetables, you can buy them already prepared at Publix in the fresh vegetable section.
1 pound lean ground beef (I like ground chuck)
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup uncooked rice
2 (15 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
3 1/2 cups water
5 beef bouillon cubes
1 Tbs chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp basil
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup frozen or fresh green beams
Cook beef in skillit with onion and garlic until browned. Drain off fat. Combine all ingredients except green beans (if they're frozen) and place in a soup pot or crock pot.
Cover and cook on low heat 2-3 hours on range or 8 hours in crock pot. Add frozen green beans during last hour of cooking.
If crisper vegetables are desired, cook meat, spices and liquid ingredients adding vegetables toward the end of the cookint time. Serves 8.
Source: A Junior League cookbook titled "Puttin'on the Peachtee" (1979)
Note: I sometimes add a small can of yellow corn just for color and sprinkle each bowl with a tablespoon or two of shredded cheese. Serve with fresh bread from the bakery.