Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Simple Soup

Rita's 30 Minute Vegetable Soup

Rita Heikenfeld is a good friend of and a popular guest chef at The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's International Market. She graciously agreed to share her super simple vegetable beef soup recipe with our readers. The cool nights of early fall make us all ready for a warm bowl of soup and if you have a reasonably well-stocked pantry or freezer, you can stir up a pot in under an hour and have it on the table for your family. A thick slice of multi-grain sourdough bread from the Bakery would be an especially good accompaniment to this soup. And slather on some really good butter - like Plugra!

If you buy ground beef when it is on sale and freeze it, now is a great time to take out a pound or so and let it thaw in the refrigerator. If you don't eat ground beef, ground turkey or chicken will work, too. Once you have a large onion chopped (generous 1 cup) and a couple large cloves of garlic minced (1 teaspoon), add them to the pot with the ground beef. If you are racing to get dinner on the table, you can purchase pre-chopped onions and garlic in the Produce section. 

Ellen, our sous chef, was making a BIG pot of soup for Rita's Best Ever Yeast Bread class on Tuesday, Sept, 21 for 24 students. You won't need a pot this big for one recipe! She used ground beef tenderloin and drained it well after the beef, onions and garlic were cooked. 

She added the remainder of the ingredients, minus the fresh spinach, and stirred to combine. The pot will simmer for 30 minutes - hence the name! Check the vegetables at thirty minutes to make sure they are tender. Simmer a little longer if needed. Toss in the fresh spinach and you are ready to go. A dusting of grated parmesan or a handful of shredded cheddar would be a nice touch!

Rita's Heikenfeld's 30 Minute Vegetable Soup

1 generous pound ground sirloin
1 generous cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 jar (20-30 ounces) chunky garden style pasta sauce - we used Prego
2 cans (15 ounces) low sodium beef broth
Water to taste - start with one broth can of water and go from there)
1 can (10 ounces) chopped tomatoes and chilies - we used Rotel
1 bag (20 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables for soup, thawed,  - we used Bird's Eye
Fresh spinach  - 5 ounce package
Cheddar or Parmesan for garnishing

Cook meat, onion and garlic together. Add everything else but fresh spinach. If you have the 30 ounce jar of pasta sauce, add almost all, but taste before adding the rest. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Toss in spinach and cook until wilted, about one minute more.

Rita will be teaching In Praise of the Braise on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 from 6:00 - 8:30pm at the Fairfield location. If you would like to join her, you can register online.

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