Vegetable Beef Soup

This is a basic recipe for homemade vegetable soup. Where baked goods are more of a science that needs exact measurements, soup is an open field for creativity. But whatever ingredients you add, the better the stock (broth) you start with, the better the soup. 

Vegetable Beef Soup
A basic recipe
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  1. Dry beans such as garbanzo, kidney, lentil, etc, soaked overnight (or use canned beans and add them in the last 10 minutes of cooking)
  1. 1 onion, chopped
  2. 2 stalks celery, chopped into 1/4 inch slices
  3. 2 pounds beef or pork cut into 1/2 cubes
  4. 1 can diced tomatoes
  1. 3 quarts beef, vegetable or chicken broth (or however much you need to cover the vegetables. Homemade is better)
  2. 1 cup green beans
  3. 1 cup brussels sprouts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  4. 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  5. 1-2 cups potatoes, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes (or cooked pasta added just before serving. Soup will be starchy if you add pasta uncooked)
  6. 1 cup squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  7. 1 cup zucchini, but into 1/2 inch cubes
  8. 1 cup cabbage, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  9. 1 cup cauliflower, cut into 1/2 pieces
  10. 1/3 cup peppers (green, red or yellow) cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  11. 1/4 cup chopped garlic
  12. 1 Tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning
  13. 1 Tablespoon dried Basil
  14. 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  15. 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  16. Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Soak the beans overnight and follow the package directions, if you're not using canned.
  2. Sauté onion and celery for 3 minutes. Add meat and sauté until cooked through. Add tomatoes and 1 cup stock and cook for 1-2 hours (this will tenderize the meat).
  3. After 1-2 hours, add the vegetable stock and the vegetables, adding the vegetables in order of how long they take to cook: add the longest cooking vegetables first. Simmer until vegetables are cooked through.
  1. This list of vegetables is just a list of ideas. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand. If they're leftovers, just add them at the end of cooking. Don't worry if your leftovers have seasoning, it will just add a new dimension to the soup.  The basics of the soup are start with onion, meat, celery and tomatoes. Cook 2 hours. Then add the veggies in the order of time they take to cook. Add whatever herbs you like. You might want to write down what you put in it as you go, so that if you really like it, you can repeat it another time.
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