As the name suggests, this hearty soup is quick, easy, and very, very good. Our recipe tester’s comment: “I’m definitely making this at home.” Now that’s a compliment worth having, because she’s prepared a lot of recipes in her time.
The recipe also makes plenty. Plan to serve this to a crowd of hungry leaf-rakers, if you’re lucky enough to be hosting such a crowd in your back yard. Or lure a bunch of energetic friends with an offer of dinner, and pass out the rakes when they arrive. Just be sure to have steaming bowls of soup and mugs of cider on hand when the work is done.
With any luck, this may become an annual tradition!
Quick and Easy Italian Vegetable Beef Soup
Fix-It and Forget-It, Revised & Updated, page 36
Makes 8-10 servings
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 6-8 hours
Ideal slow-cooker size: 6-qt.
1 lb. ground beef, or turkey, browned and drained
3 carrots, sliced
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
15-oz. can diced Italian tomatoes, or 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
6-oz. can Italian-flavored tomato paste
4 ½ cups water
1 quart beef broth
1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
2. Cover. Cook on High 6-8 hours, or until potatoes and carrots are tender.
We all know that the food we eat in childhood creates a deep sensory memory. Just a scent, a glimpse, or a taste transports us back to the long-ago kitchen where we tasted that food. We often prefer our childhood flavors to the newer recipes we’ve found.
Recently, we read an article that made us laugh: a chef flies his Italian mother to his New York restaurant several times a year to make tortellini by hand. He so desperately wanted to share the authentic flavor of his childhood with his restaurant patrons. We want to go to New York to eat Mama’s hand-rolled pasta, too!
Isn’t it interesting, the intersection between homecooking and professional restaurant cooking? We enjoy the entertainment and variety of fancy restaurant food, but we want homecooking for our souls.
Here at Fix-It and Forget-It, we support the home cooks who are creating memories for the children in their lives. You might be using your time-tested childhood recipes or experimenting with new ones, but the children will remember your cooking with love and longing.
I’m not a very good schmoozer. It wears me out. I’m not much of a gawker either. I will go out of my way to get a book autographed by a writer I respect. And I do have a special interest in people who cook well, too.
I’ve run into a few food celebs at QVC when we’ve met off-stage, plus I’ve seen several at the Housewares Show.
But I’ve never met Lidia Bastianich. She strikes me as an honest cook, who makes food from her heart, despite having become a name in the cooking world. Somehow she’s managed to still keep one foot firmly in her Italian family’s cooking tradition, while translating it into manageable instructions for the rest of us.