In the cold winter months, nothing beats a nice hearty soup. Today I made one of my favorites, stuffed pepper soup. This recipe does not require you to have any cooking skill at all. I would actually say this is easier than making scrambled eggs, even though it takes a bit longer. Even better is that it's filling and is something you can eat by itself as dinner.
I'm going to put this list of ingredients down, but with any meal, soup especially, feel free to tweak spices. Just remember that you can always add more salt but you can't take any out. Adding or removing certain spices because you don't have them will not greatly effect the flavor.
Ingredients (yields 8+ servings)
- 2 pounds ground beef (I prefer 80/20 ground chuck)
- 6 cups water
- 1 can tomato sauce (larger can, I think 28 ounces)
- 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 large green bell peppers, diced
- 1 medium sized onion, diced
- 6 bullion cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp grandulated garlic
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 cups cooked white rice
The first step is to brown the ground beef. Put beef in your pot and heat on medium high heat until it's mostly brown, breaking it into small pieces. It's personal preference but I like it better without big pieces of meat. If there's a little pink still, that's OK. While the beef is browning, chop up your bell peppers and onions. A larger chop is key here. You want to have at least 1/2 inch dice. You're making stuffed pepper soup, so having bigger pieces of pepper makes it so much better (plus the kids can pick them out easier).
Drain the grease from the hamburger. The easy way to do this is by pouring the entire contents into a colander/strainer. Then give it a little shake and pour the drained beef back into your soup pot.
Now all you have to do is put all of the other ingredients, except the rice, in the pot with the browned hamburger. It's optional if you want to dissolve the bullion cubes in the water before hand but I have done it both ways.
Note: This is the point where I had to change pots. This recipe makes a huge pot of soup (I used to make it at a restaurant so my portions haven't been cut down much) and if you use a 5 quart you will make a mess.
Just throw everything into your pot and turn the temperature to medium/medium low heat and simmer for half an hour, stirring occasionally. You'll want to cook it uncovered so it will thicken by the time you're done. While simmering go ahead and get your rice ready. I use instant rice because I prefer it in soups. Cook it up and give it a fluff and sit it on the counter.
After your half hour of simmering is over, add the rice and simmer for an additional 15 minutes (or until the peppers are the desired tenderness). Push it to the side and let sit. It will be pretty thick so this soup definitely eats like a meal.
You can add cheese and/or some raw onions and peppers before serving for added flavor and texture.