Beef and vegetable crock-pot soup

By popular demand (Lena!), my recipe for Dan’s favorite soup. Sorry I don’t have any specific amounts — use more of the things you like and less of the things you don’t.

You’ll need:
A crock pot
A handful of green beans
A handful of baby carrots
A sweet red or green bell pepper (or both)
An onion
A couple of stalks of celery
A can of Roma (Italian) tomatoes
Beef of some sort. I get whatever looks good and doesn’t cost more than $3/pound. Get anywhere from one to three pounds, depending on how beefy you want your soup and how much you want to make.
A thing of good beef broth
Salt, pepper, thyme
(Other optional veggies — cabbage, mushrooms, whatever you like)

Ok. Cut up your veggies and toss them into the crock pot. Trim the fat off your beef, cut it into bite-size chunks, and brown it, a handful at a time, in a little oil in a big skillet. As it browns, add it to the pot. Cut up the Roma tomatoes and pour them with their juice into the pot. Now add some of the beef broth but NOT TOO MUCH, maybe to an inch or so below the top of the things in the pot. The veggies will cook down and everything will get wetter, and if you start with too much broth it’ll be a very thin soup. Add salt, pepper, and a few pinches of thyme. Cook it all day on low, or for maybe 5 or 6 hours on high, depending on your crock pot. When the green beans and carrots are nice and soft, it’s done.

This freezes very well so make lots! I usually make this on Monday so Dan can look forward to a few more servings through the week. I prefer my veggie/barley soup, so I tend to make that on Friday so I can eat it all weekend :) We both like soup!

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