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McClellan: It’s Soup Time

It’s time for a hot, delicious beef vegetable soup. Don’t you think?

I’ve been cooking this recipe for more years than most of you have lived. To be honest, I don’t remember where I got the original recipe. I think it came from trying to reproduce my mother’s soup recipe. I’m changing it up a little, but I think my family and friends who like it the way it is will rise up in arms if I change it a lot.

Soups were created centuries ago by many cultures to make small amounts of protein healthy. Archaeologists believe soup making is about 25,000 years old. The recipe I’m sharing today is my latest version of Beef Vegetable Soup.

My homemade beef vegetable soup

2-3 pounds stewed beef or roast beef, diced

3 tablespoons oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 celery stalks, with leaves

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 1/2 liters of water

Fried beef in oil in a very large (6-8 liters) soup pot.

Add chopped onion, garlic and celery and cook until lightly browned. Add water and 3 tablespoons beef soup.

I’ve talked about this before. It can be bought in large quantities at Sam’s warehouse or in smaller jars at any grocery store. Cook covered for 1 hour or until beef is tender. Add 1 can (28 oz) chopped tomatoes with liquid.

1 can (14 oz) chopped tomatoes with chili (like Rotel) and liquid

2 teaspoons seasoned salt

1 teaspoon black pepper (optional)

Simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Add 1/3 cup pearl barley.

Add 24 oz mixed frozen vegetables.

Simmer covered until meat and vegetables are tender. I add 2-3 (or more) cups of B-8 or tomato juice. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. It makes a big amount. I suggest you freeze this in small portions after you share them with family and friends.

A few years ago, I came up with a recipe for quick jalapeno cornbread. I finally wrote it down and here it is.

Mexican mixed cornbread

2 bags (6 oz) cornbread mix (see note)

1 1/3 cups creamy corn

2 eggs

2 tablespoons chopped or chopped canned jalapeno peppers

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients except cheese. Pour into a greased 9″ x 13″ mold. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake at 425 degrees for 25-28 minutes.

Note: I prefer the Corn Kits brand because it’s not sweet.

— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist. Email her at [email protected] or Longview News-Journal, PO Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.

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