This recipe had been banging around the back of my ‘stuff to try’ file for a while, and then our friend Rick brought a tasty container of a batch he’d made as a host gift to one of our games nights. While I didn’t offer it up that evening, a couple of very nice lunches were had that next week. When I emailed Rick to thank him again for the lovely gift of soup, he very kindly sent me the recipe, his sister, Donna’s.
This recipe got added to the one in my ‘stuff to try’ folder, but now was also bumped up into the back o’ my mind as ‘something I really need to get around to working on’.
Enter the European Imports Sale followed by a visit to the nice folk at Costco. Between them both, my pantry was now more than amply stocked with very nice canned tomatoes, close to a dozen (!) fresh red, yellow, and orange peppers, and, on a seemingly unrelated note, a very nice rack o’ ribs.
Let’s start with the ribs. The weather was nice enough that we thought grilling them would be a good thing – and that means (to me) that the ribs needed to be prepped this way, which left more than a quart of very nicely seasoned pork stock in the back of the fridge (here’s the last bit, with the thin film of fat yet to be skimmed off).
Now for those close-to-a-dozen (OK, nine) peppers. Costco had made us an offer we really couldn’t refuse, but that was still a LOT of peppers for two people. I decided to roast seven of them with some garlic and balsamic vinegar. Those last two would be fine for a nice salad.
Hmmm. Fresh, home made stock in the fridge. Peppers and garlic nicely roasted (in the good, but not the GREAT balsamic vinegar – I save the 25 year old for vinaigrettes and final drizzles over stuff). Add to the mix the weather suddenly taking a turn for the cold, gray and clammish; and it was time to make us some soup!
I compared and contrasted Rick’s sister Donna’s very nice recipe with a couple of others I had in that now kind of crowded file, and made a few adjustments to suit my pantry and personal preferences; and this is what I came up with:
•6 roasted peppers, cooled and chopped (I stashed one roasted pepper in the fridge for other uses)
•1 lb. ground beef
•5 or 6 roasted cloves of garlic
•2 or 3 celery stalks, chopped
•2 onions, chopped
•1 quart (4 cups) stock
– I used pork stock made out of the aromatics, water, cider vinegar, and spices I prep my grilled ribs with, but chicken or beef stock works
•1 (28 oz) can peeled diced tomatoes
•1/8 tsp granulated garlic
•1/4 tsp Tabasco
•1/2 tsp dried parsley
•1/4 tsp celery salt
•1/4 tsp oregano
•1/2 tsp Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute – or your favorite all-purpose seasoning
•1/2 tsp Brisket of Love Rub – or any other barbecue/steak blend of your choice
•1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
•3 cups cooked Basmati rice
Cook the ground beef in a large pot until browned, then drain, wipe out the pot, and set aside. Heat the canola oil in the pot and sauté the onion and celery until the onion is tender, but not browned – about ten minutes.
Add the beef, roasted peppers and garlic, tomatoes, stock and seasonings and simmer, stirring often, for 30 to 45 minutes.
Serve over the rice in bowls. I had crushed red peppers and a mixture of freshly grated pepper parmesan, provolone, and mozzarella cheeses to scatter on top. Nice.