Although it’s been decades, I remember being shoo’ed out the back door after getting stuffed into a snow suit then wrapped to within an inch of my life in scarves to play in the snow like it was yesterday. With two brothers by my side, and a fresh blanket of snow on the ground, the possibilities for fun were endless.
Carving igloos into the side of a snow banks. Standing with craned necks to catch snowflakes on our outstretched tongues. Speeding down the local sledding hill then being lugged up by my Dad (God bless him!) after each run. Rolling snow man mid-sections until they were too heavy to lift. The list goes on and on! As much as I dislike snow as an adult, I can’t deny the hours of entertainment it provided us with as children…until the snow got under our sleeves. I have the most vivid memory of my little brother, who was probably 4 at the time, standing in the middle of the back deck just SOBBING after getting snow jammed into his sleeves. It’s all fun and games until somebody’s wrists start freezing!
No matter how long my brothers and I lasted outdoors, we were always treated to hot chocolate post de-suiting. With cheeks (and wrists) still numb from the cold, my Mom would microwave mugs of water which we’d dump packages of Swiss Miss with rock hard mini marshmallows into then fill the space between the top of the hot chocolate and rim of the mug with more mini marshmallows (what can I say, it truly was a marshmallow world in the winter,) before digging in and discussing the day’s adventures.
These days, with Lincoln having a dairy allergy, I foresee his post snow romps being filled with hot and hearty bowls of Vegetable Beef and Rice Soup instead of packets of Swiss Miss. This healthy, complete meal in one will not only warm his, and your, soul – but it’ll do it without 15+ processed ingredients! (Get your act together, Swiss Miss!)
Ok so I’ve been debating posting this recipe here on IGE for months. I created it at the tail-end of Fall and it was an instant hit with both Ben and Lincoln who, oddly enough, is obsessed with any and all kinds of soup. The apple didn’t fall far…
Anyway, while the hearty soup packed with vegetables including carrots, potatoes, and peas, and pumped up by lean ground beef, garbanzo beans, and plump rice is a 10 on the taste scale, I realize it’s about a 2 on the looker scale. Plus it’s reddish-orange – a food photographer’s nightmare!
In the end, I just couldn’t keep this soup recipe away from you any longer. It’s too good! Plus each spoonful has vegetables, carbs, and protein so I pair Ben’s and my bowls with a simple side salad, and Lincoln’s with an apple, and call it a day. So easy. This recipe also feeds an army, and is the kind that gets better the longer it sits, so we eat leftovers all week long.
Snow day or any day, Vegetable Beef and Rice Soup is going to warm you from the inside out. Make and enjoy often over the next couple of months!
Start by browning 1lb ground beef with 2 sliced carrots, 1 chopped celery stalk, 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion (could sub 1/2 chopped onion or 1 chopped shallot,) salt, and pepper in a large soup pot.
Next add 32oz gluten-free beef broth, 14oz can crushed tomatoes, 1 can Original V8 (check to make sure yours says GF!) 15oz can drained then rinsed garbanzo beans, and 1 chopped potato. The V8 gives this soup amazing flavor with almost no effort. Oh, and if you think you don’t like garbanzo beans, give them a try in this recipe. The simmer time gets them nice and soft, plus they add a great boost of fiber and protein!
Turn the heat up to bring the soup to a boil, then lower to medium and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, 25-30 minutes. If you’re getting hungry, pop the lid on top of the soup pot to expedite the vegetable softening process!
Last step is to stir in 1/2 cup frozen peas and 3/4 cup white rice that’s been cooked in water or chicken broth (directions are in the recipe below.)
Stir everything together, and then serve!
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Vegetable Beef and Rice Soup
Vegetable Beef and Rice Soup is hearty and comforting. A perfect gluten-free soup to fill up and warm up with on a cold day!
- 3/4 cup long grain white rice
- 1lb lean ground beef
- 2 carrots, peeled then sliced into thin coins
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
- salt and pepper
- 32oz gluten-free beef broth
- 14oz crushed tomatoes
- 11.5oz can gluten-free Original V8 juice
- 15oz can garbanzo beans, drained then rinsed
- 1 medium-sized potato, peeled then chopped small
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- Add rice, 1-1/3 cups water, and a heavy dash of salt to a small saucepan then bring to a boil. Place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium-low, then simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until rice is al dente. Take pan off heat then let rice steam with the lid on for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork and setting aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat then add ground beef, carrots, celery, and dried minced onion. Season with salt and pepper then saute until beef is cooked through. Add beef broth, crushed tomatoes, V8 juice, garbanzo beans, and potatoes then turn heat up to bring soup to a boil. Turn heat down to medium then simmer until the vegetables are tender, 30-35 minutes (if vegetables are taking too long to soften, place a lid on top of the soup pot for awhile to help speed things along.) Stir in cooked rice and peas, taste and add salt and pepper if necessary, and then serve.
- Have extra broth on hand for reheating if necessary!
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Like I said, this soup just gets better and better, and I feel SO good feeding it to both Ben and Lincoln. Healthy, hearty and, most importantly, absolutely delicious. Enjoy!