Spicy Vegetable Beef Soup

Spicy Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup.
It is 40 some degrees, raining, cold, gloomy and I am tired from my trip to Indianapolis. Nothing sounds better to me than a steaming pot of vegetable beef soup. There are still fresh tomatoes on our vines and a bumper crop of hot peppers. So I am putting on a jacket and heading out to the garden. On the way I will go by the deep freeze and pull out meat to thaw in the microwave. I will be set. Our son Mike and his oldest girl Emily Love vegetable soup. His wife Julie likes it too but I am unsure about Kate. At any rate I will give them half of what I make and they will be pleased. They all work and go to school so it makes evening nice for them to have a kettle of shared soup.

Our whole family loves homemade vegetable beef soup chocked full of tender chunks of beef and spices for full flavor. To make this soup I used 2 hot red peppers from our garden, 5 plump cloves of fresh garlic, 2 large onions and lots of fresh and frozen vegetables.

I have lost 25 pounds now on "THE DIET" so to stay true to it I substituted diced turnips for potato and added a can of kidney beans.

The soup was terrific because my husband Brian requested it again tomorrow for supper!! That is a good pot of soup when they take seconds and want to have it again the next night for supper!!

NOTE: This soup is an all day project so start early or a day ahead and finish the second day.

2 1/2 pounds chuck roast
1 onion quartered
2 stalks celery broken
2 carrots broken
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
garlic powder

12 fresh tomatoes peeled and seeded
1 large can tomatoes
1 quart beef stock
1 quart green beans
1 - 1 1/2 C. diced turnips
2 C. diced carrots
4 C. shredded cabbage
2 C. diced onion
1 C. diced celery
5 cloves of garlic chopped
1 jalapeno pepper stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 chili pepper stemmed and seeded
1 C. sweet corn
1 C. peas
1 can kidney beans drained
1 C. okra sliced
1 chunk of Parmesan cheese 2" x 2" x 1"
2-3 C. water
broth from roast
2 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1 t. sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and butter a heavy butch oven or casserole. Sprinkle the beef with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on both sides and place in the bottom of the pan. Rinse the celery, carrots, and onion well and break the celery and carrots into pieces. Quarter the onions. Place these root vegetables into the pan around the beef and add the bay leaf. It is not necessary to peel the onion as the skins add to the flavor and color but will be discarded.

Roast for 2-2 1/2 hours until tender. Cover the last half of the time. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile prepare the tomatoes by dropping them into boiling water for a couple of minutes then in ice water to slip off the skins. Core them and I like to run my thumb down each segment and slide out some of the seeds to discard.

Place the fresh tomatoes and the can of tomatoes with the beef broth in a large soup pot. Add the rest of the vegetables, Parmesan cheese, and enough water to come at least half way up the vegetables. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cover. The cheese will dissolve and flavor the soup.

Remove the beef from the cooled pan and shred or cut into bite sized pieces. Remove all of the fat or membrane and discard. Strain the vegetables and bay leaf from the meat juices and discard them. Add the beef and the broth to the soup and stir.

Add the salt, pepper, and sugar stirring well to blend and adjusting the seasoning to you taste.

Simmer until all of the vegetables are tender and serve pipping hot in large bowls with crusty bread or crackers as desired. Yield 2 gallons of soup.

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