I'm always looking for a healthy way to incorporate protein and vegetables into my diet... because otherwise, let's face it - it might just be pasta. This vegetable beef soup contains browned hamburger, versus steak or 'stew meat.' The hamburger mixes in with the vegetables in more of a non-obtrusive way, instead of large chunks of beef. It was one of our favorites when we were younger - it isn't fancy, but it is a really quick soup to make that is really satisfying.
Because I had planned to serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches, I left out the starch, but you could easily add pasta or potatoes to make it more of a meal.
Vegetable Beef Soup
a quick, healthy old favorite
1/2 pound of hamburger
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 onion, diced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 carrots, 1/2 inch slices
1 large can (28 oz.) of whole tomatoes
1 handful of green beans, 1-inch pieces
2 cups of cabbage, shredded
2 bay leaves
2 small cans (14 oz.) of beef broth
Sea Salt & Pepper
1 cup of fresh spinach*
In a saucepan, brown hamburger with garlic and onion until cooked. Drain onto a paper towel to remove fat. Set it aside. In the same saucepan, add olive oil and carrots. Cook carrots for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes, green beans, cabbage, bay leaves and beef broth. Break up tomatoes with a spoon, creating large chunks. Heat for 5-10 minutes until vegetables begin to wilt. Add cooked hamburger. Taste for salt & pepper. Cook for 5 more minutes. Add spinach* or fresh basil* in at the end and let the hot soup wilt it.
*I had planned to add spinach instead of basil (the photo shows a basil garnish), but the lady at the grocery store checkout looked at my pregnant belly and said, 'make sure you wash the spinach really well, it has been known to have E. Coli.' So, I felt bad using the spinach... even-though I was putting in to get the vitamins and nutrients. Ugh. Gotta love all of the random 'advice' you receive as a pregnant lady...