Did I ever tell you I was a sore loser? I don’t scream and cry. I stew in my fury of not winning. (If I win, I do scream out “In your face, Sucka!” Hmmm, this may be why my sisters dislike me.)
Honestly, I am not ALWAYS a sore loser. I am sure that I was guilty of this offense once or twice. There was the “house” incident playing Monopoly when I didn’t like my sisters getting to put the little green houses all over their properties when I had none. My solution was to take all the houses and put them in my mouth. If I were being completely honest about this memory, I’d tell you that I spit them out at my sisters. I was little so I don’t think this should count. (Okay, I was probably 20.)
I’m not just competitive at games; I’m that way when making meals. I have a theory that if I have some browned ground beef, carrots, celery, onions and can of tomatoes, I am boundless. (Unlike crossing the boundaries of poor sportsmanship when playing Monopoly.)
This week I couldn’t get my game right. It was like landing on Boardwalk when all you own is Baltic Avenue! All my ingredients were for fun spring recipes but the weather was not making me feel like spring.
Anyhow, all I wanted was some sort of stewy soup but I didn’t want to go out and spend any more money on food when I had a produce drawer full of options. (Plus, I didn’t pass go and I didn’t collect $200.) I also didn’t want to monopolize my entire afternoon cooking. I had stuff to do and places to be. (I don’t really talk like that but the guy on the Monopoly box does.)
So I just rolled the dice and took a chance. (My Monopoly friend, Kelly, is just loving this bit right now!) I broke out the ol’ slow cooker and started adding stuff. It was like a get out of jail free card.
1 pound ground beef (browed)
½ cup carrots, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup onion, chopped
28 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups of Kale, torn up
2 tsp minced garlic
1 heaping tsp of Italian seasoning
½ cup white wine
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup cooked pasta (pick something small that will fit on a spoon)
Salt and pepper
Gouda Cheese, grated for garnish
Optional: A Parmesan rind.
In a medium sauté pan, heat up a good swirl of olive oil over medium heat. Saute the carrots, celery, and onion. You don’t want to cook-cook it; you just want to soften it up a little. Add your garlic and cook another minute. Add the wine to deglaze anything that is left on the bottom of the pan.
Meanwhile, in your slow cooker, add the beef, tomatoes, kale, Italian seasoning, broth and veggies you just cooked up. (If you have the rind, add it.) DON’T ADD THE PASTA!!!!! You won’t need that until you are serving because it will get mushy and you will want to spit it at your sisters.
Put the top on and cook on low for at least 4-5 hours. (Maybe go play a game!)
Game’s over and it is time to eat! Taste for additional seasoning. My vegetable broth was incredibly salty so I didn’t add any extra punch to the soup but you may need to add a thimble full.
Put a little pasta in the bowl and top it with the hot soup.
This was as satisfying as landing on Free Parking and you will want to eat a wheelbarrow full! I wonder if they’ll ever make a “soup bowl” token. (Happy 80th Anniversary Monopoly!)