Recipe Box Confession

I’ve been married for 9 years. Shortly before my wedding my mom and a handful of my best friends threw me a wedding shower. I received all kinds of wonderful gifts (many of which I’m still using) but the most touching gift was a little wooden box. In this box were recipe cards, lovingly (or begrudgingly?) filled out by those who attended my shower. My assumption was that these recipes were the favorites of my friends and family. Now, here’s my confession…. in the past nine years I’ve made maybe 2 of all of those recipes. Right now I’m making a “please don’t hate me” face. But, and here’s my possible redemption, even though I’ve only made a couple of those recipes, I’ve filled the box with countless others and EVERY time I come across one of those cards written by someone I love and get to see their handwriting my heart sings with love and fondness for that person.

My mom is an OK cook. She’s not adventurous. She has many go-to favorites. She doesn’t ruin any meals, but her food isn’t memorable (except maybe for her butter cream frosting – so good on chocolate cake!). It’s filling, tastes good, and fulfills a need. One of the recipes my mom gave me was for Vegetable Soup. I don’t remember her ever making it for me … the only soup I remember from childhood is homemade chicken noodle (which as an adult I bet was delicious, but as a kid I turned my nose up because all I wanted was some Campbell’s C&N from that red and white can.) I looked at my mom’s handwriting, looked at the ingredients, and decided to dive in and give it a try.

When I think of Vegetable Soup I think vegetarian – but this is not. It’s a combination of ground beef , vegetables, and noodles in a delicious broth.  The total time to make this soup is about an hour and a half and it makes a big pot. Here’s how you do it.

  • 1 lb. ground sirloin or ground round
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 qt. tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup onion
  • 1-2 tsp. salt
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced potatoes
  •  1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1/2 cup noodles

Saute meat and onions till cooked through. Add tomatoes, water, spices, and vegetables (everything except noodles). Simmer for about an hour, add noodles and cook until they are done.

This soup is super easy to make, and while it takes a while to cook, the outcome is worth it. The only thing I changed is that I used ground bison instead of beef and since my mom was unspecific about what type of noodles I used rontini (little cork screw). The best thing about this soup is that my entire family ate it (even Buddy!) so it will be made again. Thanks, mom!

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