This soup has been a staple in my family for years and what it's shown me as a cook is that you don't have to go fancy to make something that's really good. It's also one of the easiest recipes you'll ever find and the minimal time you'll spend prepping the vegetables will pay off later when you ladle up a bowl of this wonderful schtuff.
|Here's Ryan spooning up some Mama goodness|
1 lb. ground meat (beef, turkey, venison ... whatever trips your trigger)
Brown this with about 1/4-1/2 of a large onion, chopped. While the meat is browning, prep the vegetables:
3 carrots - chopped
3-4 stalks, celery - chopped
3 potatoes (medium to large, depending how much you like spuds) - peeled and sliced thin
1/4 of a head of cabbage - sliced thin
Slice your vegetables into a large pot. When your meat and onion are done, add these to the mix. Add:
1 large can crushed tomatoes
Fill the rest of the pot with water and add salt - I think I used about 1/2 tsp. of salt and it turned out perfectly. Simmer for about an hour or until vegetables are tender.
Variations: In a lot of the cooking blogs and various articles that I've read about soups, a lot of writers will mention that the glorious part about something like this recipe is that its a good way to get rid of any leftover vegetables that might be lurking in your refrigerator. Because this recipe is so dear to me and I try to make it just like my mom does, I don't usually do that. As much as I like vegetables like green peppers, corn, etc., to put these in my Mama Soup would be unnatural. But they could work - so could zucchini or green beans. Substituting kale for the cabbage would also be a good option.
Another variation that I've tried with some success was back in the day when I was trying low carb cooking - I substituted cauliflower for the potatoes. And as ashamed as I am to say this, I really couldn't tell the difference.