When I stayed overnight with a girl friend, we often were up at dawn checking irrigation pipe. Babysitting could involve feeding livestock or other chores. Some of my fondest memories was sitting around husking and “putting up” corn. It never seemed like work because we did it together and socialized while we did it.
Everyone shared produce. We never needed a farmers market because if we had more tomatoes than what we needed, we often canned some and gave away some. So did everyone else.
One of the dishes my mother made, that I loved, was stuffed peppers. It was a mixture of ground beef, rice and tomato sauce baked inside a green pepper. I new that John wasn’t going to love eating an entire baked green pepper, so I thought I would take the same ingredients and make a soup. If John didn’t care for it, it was still something that I could freeze in individual portions and eat when I was on my own for dinner.
This is definitely in the comfort foods category but, isn’t a heavy dish. I wanted to bump up the flavor so I added spicy sausage and fire roasted tomatoes. I also used long grain brown rice, but you could use what ever you prefer.
When I make soup, I always make extra. It might be my upbringing, but I love having it in my freezer on those snowy evenings. Using a large dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add 1 pound of ground sirloin and 1 pound of ground spicy pork sausage. When the meat is good and brown, remove it from the pan to a plate lined with a paper towel. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and add 2 diced green peppers (3 cups), and one large yellow onion (3 cups). Cook for 3-5 minutes. Add 4 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1 teaspoon of dried basil and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, 2 cans of tomato sauce, 32 oz of fat free beef broth and add the meat back in. Add salt and pepper if needed. Bring to a slight boil and then lower the heat to a simmer for at least 30 minutes. I actually let mine simmer for over and hour, and it didn’t hurt it a bit.
While the soup is simmering, cook 1 cup of rice according to package directions.
I knew I would have more soup than what we could eat that evening, so I didn’t put the rice in the pot. I put it in each individual bowl. I didn’t want leftovers with mushy rice, so I stored the rice in a separate container.
Stuffed Pepper Soup
1 cup long grain brown rice, uncooked
1 lb spicy pork sausage
1 lb ground sirloin
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 green peppers, diced (3 cups)
1 large yellow onion, diced (3 cups)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2-8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
32 oz fat free beef broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- In a large pot heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, add beef and sausage. Cook until browned. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
- Add remaining tablespoon olive oil and add onions and green pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, basil, and oregano. Cook for 30 seconds. Pour in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, and browned meat. Bring to a light boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer at least 30 minutes
- Prepare rice according to package directions.
- If you plan on having leftovers, don’t add the rice to the pot of soup. Just add it to each individual bowl.
Recipe Source: Inspired by this recipe on allrecipes