I started with a pound of ground beef and some potatoes and onions. When I began, I wasn’t sure if this would end up being a broth-based soup or a creamy, cheesy entree.
I was, in part, inspired by Paul’s Potato and Leek Soup of a couple weeks prior — by that and the dropping temperatures.
The funny thing is, the final result isn’t an experiment, it’s something I’ve made with semi-regularity. Even though I hadn’t considered making Vegetable Beef Stew (I really wanted to use the meat but didn’t think my self-imposed limit of 1 pound would be meaty enough to qualify as Vegetable Beef), it’s what needed to be made.
In the past, the veggies have been more varied than they were this go ’round, which was dictated by what we had in the fridge.
I started by browning the meat, adding 2.5 smallish onions, chopped, and maybe 3 tablespoons of garlic. I let that cook until the beef was browned and the onions were transparent — working in my large soup pot, of course. Then I scrubbed and chopped 10 smallish potatoes and threw them in. I added a long 2 cups of water at this point. I sliced maybe a scant pound of baby carrots and added that. Next came the celery. We had celery hearts, which are shorter stalks, for some reason. I used all we had, again; maybe 12 stalks? It was half the package.
Once I was done chopping, I gave it a stir, tossed some coarse-ground black pepper and some kosher salt on the top, and added another 2 cups of agua.
Put the lid on and let it cook, turning it down as necessary, for 20-30 minutes.
When I came back, I decided it needed the tomatoes, not milk and cheese. I added a 14-ounce can of diced and a 4-ounce can of sauce, and then shook in a couple tablespoons, maybe, of worchestershire sauce. Taste: needs something. I added a little more salt, and a couple good shakes of cayenne pepper. Stir, replace cover and let simmer.
It was a hit!
Note: In the past I’ve used green beans, of course, and probably some other vegetables, too.