I really do believe in the power of soup. Maybe it's because I've lived in the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years. Either way, here are a few of my favorite soup recipes.

Mama Soup




1 lb. stew meat, trimmed and cut into bite sized chunks

2 tbsp olive oil or olive oil spray

1 lg. onion, diced into 1/3” pieces

¾ cup celery, cut into bite sized pieces

4 lg. carrots, cut into bite sized pieces

1 large container beef stock

1 lg. can crushed tomatoes

1 can tomato paste (or 1 can tomato sauce)

3 medium white potatoes, diced into 1/3” pieces

1 medium turnip, diced into 1/3” pieces (optional, you can add another potato)

1 tbsp. minced garlic

2-3 tsp. dried oregano

1 tbsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. thyme

1-2 tsp. chili powder, or to taste (may be omitted)

2-3 bay leaves

1 medium bag frozen mixed vegetables


Brown meat in a small amount of oil in a soup pot until almost done.  Add onions, garlic, celery and carrots and sauté another 5 minutes until onion begins to be translucent.  Deglaze pan with a small amount of water, stir, and add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and 2-3 cans water as well as spices.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Add potatoes and turnips, bring back to a boil and simmer for another few minutes until potatoes and turnip are done but still firm.  Correct spices to taste and add salt and pepper.  Add mixed vegetables and simmer for another 15 minutes until all vegetables are done. 

Serve with crusty bread.   To make this vegan, substitute a hearty bean for the meat and use a rich vegetable broth or mushroom broth for the beef broth.  You might have to reduce it just a bit more to have a rich broth.