Monday, January 05, 2009

Soup night is back

Souper Spaghetti
Better Homes and Gardens Anyone Can Cook Copyright 2007

1 pound lean ground beef I used a little more
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green sweet pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 14-1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2-1/2 cups water
1 13- to 15-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Dash crushed red pepper
2 ounces spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cook meat, onion, sweet pepper, celery, carrot, and garlic over medium heat until vegetables are tender and meat is no longer pink, stirring frequently. Drain excess fat.

Add undrained tomatoes, the water, spaghetti sauce, sugar, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Bring mixture to boiling. Add broken spaghetti. Return to boiling. Reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until spaghetti is tender. Serve immediately.

Now that I'm easing my way back into cooking regularly, I reintroduced Sunday night soup. This recipe had the basics that my guys like, meat and pasta, but the addition of spaghetti sauce really revved up the flavor. I would have liked it to have a little more pasta but it would need more liquid to handle any more pasta. It was quite thick as it was.

It was similar to American Meatball Soup but this was much easier and faster to make since it doesn't require making tiny meatballs. I used my mini-food chopper and had this made in less time than a trip to the McDonald's drive-thru.

I was going to use frozen ground beef but I was in the grocery store just before making this and decided to pick up a pound of fresh ground beef, so I wouldn't have to deal with the frozen meat that I had forgotten to take out of the freezer. Why don't they sell ground beef in one-pound packages? They had one pile of .80 pound packages and the rest were well over a pound, almost reaching 1.5 pounds. Most recipes call for one pound of ground beef so I guess they figure customers will pick up the larger package (which I did and I really didn't need to do for this recipe - I should have gone with the .80 pound package of meat).

I heard a rumor than my main grocery store might be closing. I hope not but it would save me some driving. They can't compete with the other major chain, a small independent store, and, the real trouble, Wal-Mart. I haven't heard anything official yet. That chain is touting price 'freezes' right now. Mighty nice of them to freeze prices after all the prices have been raised LOL.

Question of the Day: Do you use any sort of chopping device, besides a knife? I do enjoy using a knife but it's so much easier to toss things in the mini-chopper and I can get the veggies more finely chopped, so the guys can't avoid them.


Anonymous said...

For Christmas, I got the Professional Multi-Chopper from Williams-Sonoma. I hate chopping stuff, so I'm hoping this will save me some time in te kitchen. Of course, I went to use it last night, while making vegetable soup, and it would have diced my potatoes too small, but it worked on the carrots.

Jennifer said...

Nope, just a knife.

Hey, how would this soup reheat? It sounds like it would be a big hit at the staff souper bowl party. I'd have to make it the night before and then stick it in the crock pot to have it warm for lunch.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

I think it would reheat fine. I just checked the leftovers in the fridge and it looked just like it did yesterday and the pasta wasn't mushy.

Unknown said...

Usually, I use a knife, but I do have a chopper. I usually use that for pecans.

Anonymous said...

It's the old knife on the cutting board routine for me. I have an electric mini-chopper but don't know where it is. I used it once or twice, but as I recall, I wasn't satisfied with the results. It might have been what I was chopping. I don't remember what it was.


M Smith said...

Oh, man... you too, huh? Yes, the mighty WalMart is really not doing the rest of local business much good. I often wonder if after a while, there will only be one store - Walmart. After they drove every other clothing, grocery, automotive, baby, drug and who-know-what-else store out of business with their predatory practices. *rant over*

Our local Giant food stores in MD are in trouble, and I know that the advent of the SuperWalmart is at least partly to blame... Sad.

Heather said...

I have had electric mini-choppers, that Pampered Chef thing you push down on (which eventually stopped working even though I "sharpened" it like they said to), and I usually end up just chopping with knife and cutting board.

We don't have any of the Wal-Marts with full grocery stores in our area - just pantry items, a few frozen things and milk/OJ.

Sara said...

yum! adding this to my list too. i have a mini chopper that came as a bonus with my blender - it goes on the blender base. i use it 3-4 times a week at least.