What goes better on a bone-chilling cold day than a comforting, delicious bowl of hot soup? Just a few days ago, we had our first snowfall of the season here in Northeast Tennessee and single digit lows right behind it. This recipe is perfect for those snow days when the kids are home from school and you need to keep them tanked up and warmed up. And you’ll need so little time to make it, you can join the kids sledding outside, or have extra time to curl up with your favorite book. I even include some Savory Corn Muffins to go along with it. Enjoy!
Snow Day Beef and Veggie Soup
This recipe was inspired by an experience I had years ago when I lived in Hungary for several months. One of our friends served us a delicious tomato-based soup and right on top of each bowl of soup, she placed a large spoonful of sour cream. Delicious! With this in mind, I knew I had to add one of my favorite spices to this recipe: smoked paprika. I love the rich, smoky goodness it adds to any savory dish, perfect for chilly winter days.
As a mom of a large family, I love soup. For one, it’s economical. The ingredients to make it are pretty cheap. Two, it’s frugal. I can always find something around my fridge and/or pantry that can be turned into soup. Three, it’s good for you. Delicious soups can be made from the healthiest of ingredients and you can customize any soup to fit your dietary needs. In this recipe, you could leave out the meat altogether or use ground turkey or legumes. You could use any veggies you wish. Try vegetable or chicken stock instead of beef broth. Use any grain or starch of your choosing. The possibilities are endless! But this recipe gives you a good place to start.
In a large pot, sauté together until cooked through:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 10 oz. package frozen seasoning blend (or 2 1/2 cups total of chopped onion, celery and bell peppers)
Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in:
1 tablespoon Badia Complete seasoning
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
¾ cup quick cook grain, such as farro, barley, or bulgur wheat
1 lb package frozen mixed vegetables
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 quart box of low sodium beef broth
Combine well and simmer for at least 10 minutes to cook the grain, stirring occasionally. Don’t leave the soup on a high boil as the grain and vegetables can stick to the bottom. You can also put the soup in the crock pot. To serve, add a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for a tasty finish.
Savory Corn Muffins
Using a cornbread base, I played with the flavors to create something more savory than an ordinary cornbread muffin. As always, feel free to use your own favorite flavors and create your own version. This recipe is a typical wet/dry method. I added spices and dry minced onion to the dry ingredients, and creamed corn, whole kernel corn, and honey to the wet. I lowered the amount of milk and sugar due to the creamed corn, and sprinkled optional crispy onions to the top of the wet muffins before baking.
In a bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together:
1 ¼ cup stone ground cornmeal (Stone ground makes a big difference!)
¾ cup AP flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Southwest salt-free seasoning
2 tablespoons minced dried onion
In a separate bowl, whisk together:
2 eggs, well beaten
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 ¼ oz can creamed corn
½ cup whole kernel corn w/ peppers
1 tablespoon honey
Use an ice cream scoop to fill your well-greased muffin tins. (You can use a non stick spray.) With my pans, this recipe made 16 for me. If you want, sprinkle some crumbled fried onions on the top of the muffins for an extra crunch. Bake at 450 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes. As these are a little denser than a plain corn meal muffin, make sure they are baked well and have some color on them before removing them from the oven to cool. After five minutes, remove from the muffin tins so they don’t stick.
Products I used for these recipes: