Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Better Vegetable Beef Soup

1 small smoked ham hock (or smoked turkey)
28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons GFCF ketchup
3 cups water (or GFCF chicken broth/vegetable broth) **
2-3 tablespoons Better Than Boullion organic beef base (2 - if diluting with broth)
16 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
2 potatoes, diced (if mixed vegs pkg. does not contain them)
*1 tablespoon pure cane sugar (optional)

Place ham (or turkey) in the center of a large pot or dutch oven. Blend beef base with a small amount of veg. or chicken broth. Add to pot, along with remainder of ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover. Gradually reduce heat to low. Simmer for one hour. Ladle soup into bowl and cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

*I seasoned the ingredients with salt and pepper before I remembered that the beef base is salted. I added sugar in an effort to remedy that, but you may find that it is necessary even if you don't add extra salt to the ingredients.

~ This is soooo much better than the original vegetable beef soup recipe that I posted when I first started this blog. I am almost tempted to remove the first one. Miss B likes this recipe a lot better too, judging by the two pasta bowls-full she just eagerly consumed. (She really misses Campbell's ABC soup. Poor thing!) ~

** EDIT: Someone emailed me to ask why I included chicken/vegetable broth instead of just entirely the boullion base(s) diluted with water in this recipe. Good question! I had some boxed chicken broth in my pantry, left over from before I discovered the boullion bases, and some broth from green beans and potatoes that I made over the weekend in the refrigerator, so I just typed the ingredients that I actally used. But yes, feel free to use only the bases diluted with water instead of broths, if you like. I'm sure that was really confusing! Thanks reader. :) It has been a very long time since I used water as a liquid ingredient for soup. I have always used chicken broth or leftover veg. broth, even with boullion cubes/packets. I guess that comes from watching so much Rachael Ray, "adding layers of flavor." :)