Celebrating the new year calls for foods that are believed to bring good luck. In the Hoosier State, many of us go with cabbage. In my family that is certainly the case. But I remember as a child turning my nose up at any form of cabbage–raw, as in coleslaw, fermented in sauerkraut, or cooked in any form. My mom would force a bite down me on New Year’s Day, and I demanded the same of my kids. Today our daughter loves cabbage, in all forms. Our son, I think I can say, is less put off by it than he used to be. But it is not at the top of his New Year’s Day menu.
To keep peace with all generations and still bring good luck to all, I find soup to be the friendliest mode of cabbage consumption. And below is a beef vegetable soup that my mother shared with me many years ago. It’s ready in about an hour, using simple ingredients and simple techniques to bring out an abundance of flavor. Hear my step by step demo HERE.
A great thing about soups is you can adjust flavors and seasonings as you like. One option for this, or any soup that calls for canned diced tomatoes, is to use seasoned diced tomatoes. All the tomato packers make versions with herbs, spices, and additional ingredients, like basil/oregano/garlic, or with added peppers & chilis. Feel free to branch out and use those to give your soup your own spin.
Happy New Year!
Susan’s Mom’s Vegetable Beef Soup
(About 6 servings)
1 lb ground beef
Chopped onion & celery (about 1/2 cup of each, or more if preferred)
Chopped carrots (2-3, depending on size)
Chopped cabbage (about 1/3 head)
1 15-oz can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes
1 32-oz carton beef broth plus 1 cup water
Basil & oregano, dried, 1/2 tsp each, or more, to taste
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper to taste (generous amount of pepper is advised; taste before adding salt)
Brown ground beef in large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, celery, carrots as you get them chopped. Allow meat to cook undisturbed for several minutes so it sears and sticks to the pan somewhat. Be careful not to burn! Drain fat from mixture. Add about a cup of broth to pot and let it begin to cook and loosen the bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Scrap those up into to liquid. Put meat, vegetables, and all remaining ingredients in the pot and bring it up to a simmer. Allow to simmer about an hour. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.