Just after Thanksgiving, John, the boys and I were invited to dinner at his mom’s house. She also invited my parents and some other friends for a soup night. She made some wonderful soups. Clam chowder, white chicken chili and salmon chowder. All incredibly tasty. However, my favorite soup of the night was made by her husband, Ron. Garrett and Everett call him Uncle Ron. We love Uncle Ron. Ron is a retired firefighter and has made this soup many times for his firehouse. From the first bite, I was hooked.
I am not normally a fan of ground beef. I tend to replace it with ground chicken or turkey in most recipes. Not this time. One of the keys to this soup is not breaking down the ground beef. Uncle Ron takes quarter inch pieces of the beef and drops them into a hot pan to brown. Kind of like creating mini meatballs.
In the same pot, all the veggies are cooked together. This soup is loaded with veggies. Onions, tomatoes, carrots, hominy, zucchini and spinach. Oh my! I don’t know how, but this soup is both light and hearty at the same time. Healthy and filling, a perfect meal. And absolutely delicious.
After the soup night, Ron sent the left overs for this soup home with me, mostly because I was raving about it so much. I hid them in the back of the fridge and ate all of it for lunch over the next 3 days. When I finally made this soup myself, we had one bowls’ worth leftover in the entire pot. John asked is he could take it to work. As much as I wanted to keep it for myself, I felt bad for hoarding the last batch, so I let him have it. Oh, the sacrifices I make.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 t fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 t ground black pepper
- 1 32 oz box low sodium beef broth
- 1 16 oz can stewed tomatoes
- 1 can white hominy, drained and rinsed
- 1 c carrots, sliced
- 1 c tightly packed torn fresh spinach
- 2 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise then cut into 1/4 inch slices
- Heat a large heavy bottom stock pot to medium high. Pinch off 1/4 sized pieces ground beef and add to the pot. Cook until browned. Drain and set aside.
- Using the same pot, add the olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are softened, 6 minutes. Add the thyme, salt and pepper, cook one more minute.
- Add the tomatoes, beef broth, carrots and cooked ground beef. Bring soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until carrots are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add the hominy and sliced zucchini. Continue cooking until zucchini is done, but still a bit crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the spinach, cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat, serve hot with crusty bread.