I absolutely despise cold weather. The only good thing I can think of about winter after the holidays is making soup on cold dreary days to warm you from the inside out. So I made my variation of Paula Deen's Vegetable Soup last weekend. The thing I love about vegetable soup is that you can add and takeaway pretty much whatever veggies you like to suit your taste, which is what I did with this recipe.
These were my veggie ingredients, plus an onion chopped up. You brown soup meat, (basically just diced steak or some cubes of lean, red meat) in a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven. Once the meat has cooked about 5 minutes, add 8 cups of water, plus seasonings:
3 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp seasoned salt
1 tbsp house seasoning
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp celery seeds
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 tsp garlic powder
You're also going to throw in a diced onion and two cans of diced tomatoes. Bring all of this up to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for about an hour.
I had the best assistant, aside from her penchant for stealing the corn when she thought I wouldn't notice.
While the pot simmered, I cleaned 2 ears of corn. You can substitute by just using a can of corn which is what I usually do, but I had fresh on hand.
Peeled, chopped and sliced 3 carrots
Peeled, sliced and diced 2 medium- large sized potatoes.
Cleaned and chopped 3 stalks of celery
Typically I'll snap my own green beans, about 1 cup, but I had to use frozen ones
1 cup okra, frozen or fresh
1/2 cup butter beans, frozen or fresh
After the pot is finished simmering, add all of the vegetables you've diced to the pot. Bring it back to a boil, then simmer again for about an hour. You can add about a handful of egg noodles and let cook for twenty more minutes.
In a feeble attempt to pretend that spring isoutside our door instead of three inches of snow, I absolutely LOVE having fresh flowers in the house.
I managed to snag four bouquets of different flowers for around the house ranging in price from $1.50 to $4.99. So cheap and they really make a great touch in any room. I have them right as you come in the front foyer, in our bedroom, in the living room and on the kitchen table. Sidebar, if you've never tried Rewined candles (pictured above), you are absolutely missing out. I have Pinot Noir right now and I burn it all the time. It's probably my favorite candle I've had to date.
I would have fresh flowers in every room in the house if I could. I know it's basically a waste of money, but if it makes you happy, I say why not?
Roses and tulips would have to be my favorites. This boquet was under $5 at Kroger. We're stuck in some sort of "artcic vortex", the weather man's words, not mine, here in Kentucky and I am so over it. Spring can't get here quick enough. And to all those who rambled on and on for months about fall and colder weather needing to hurry up and get here, I hope you're happy now.