Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 lb ground beef or sausage
1 lg bell pepper (green or red), chopped
1/2 med white onion, chopped
10 baby carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/2 c. beef broth

1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
3 T brown sugar
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 bay leaf

(The first part can be combined ahead of time and frozen.  Be sure to thaw before cooking.)

Quick Cook:
1. Brown meat and drain.
2. Combine ingredients in stock pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 30-40 min.
3. Remove bay leaf.  Use immersion blender to smooth soup to desired consistency.  (If using reg blender, blend in batches.)
4. Sprinkle with parmesan, if desired.

Slow Cook:
(If frozen, thaw overnight.  Meat browned with veggies.)
1. Brown meat and drain.
2. Combine ingredients in slow cooker.  Cook on LOW for 5-7 hrs or on HIGH for 2-3 hrs.
3. Remove bay leaf.  Hit soup with immersion blender for desired consistency.

It’s really easy to make and really adaptable.  If you don’t want to use the blender methods, use 1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes and 1 14-oz can of tomato sauce instead of the whole tomatoes and dice the veggies.  It will be a tasty chunky soup.  And substitute in any veggies you want.  In fact, substitute any seasoning, too.  Using sausage means I don’t have to add any seasoning, but with beef anything goes.  Make it spicy with cayenne pepper or change it up with curry powder.

I love soup.  It’s one of my pet joys.



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