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Homemade soups don’t have to be boring

Few things are earlier and more warning on a winter’s day than soup.

Chili doesn’t count as a soup in my book because, basically, everyone makes it their own way but – for the most part – they are all the same: spices, tomatoes, peppers and some combination of beans and/or meat.

Chili is a lot like barbecue. Everyone does it different but in the end, it’s mostly the same.

I’m talking about soup now, and you can let your imagination run wild.

I’ll quickly share Jason’s recipe for vegetable soup: Go to the grocery store and buy one can of every vegetable they have. Dump them all in the crockpot with some tomato sauce. Serve.

There’s nothing wrong with that, and his version of vegetable soup is pretty good. Still, there’s so much more that could be done to make a boring bowl of vegetable soup come alive.

Next time you find yourself planning dinner for a cold winter evening, give this recipe a try.

1 large can whole tomatoes

2 pounds fresh stew meat

1 cup chopped bell pepper

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

5 pieces of garlic, finely chopped

2 boxes frozen mixed vegetables

2 cups diced white potatoes

1 can cream style corn

1/2 cup okra

1/2 cup ketchup

2 Tbsp salt

2 Tbsp black pepper

Cook together meat, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and tomatoes in a large stock pot over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add mixed vegetables and cook for another 30 minutes. Then mix in corn, potatoes, okra, ketchup, salt, and pepper. Cook for 30 minutes longer or until the potatoes are tender.

The great thing about vegetable soup is that if you don’t like any of the vegetables that I suggested, just use whatever you like. One of the best things about a recipe is the ability to play with it to suit your taste.

If you don’t like ketchup, tomato sauce will work just fine.

Add a little cornbread and you have a hearty and filling meal.

 

Tiffany Cannon is a field editor for Taste of Home Magazine and owner of 2ate9 Bakery and Catering in Demopolis. She can be reached via email at tiffany@2ate9.com