Went and got myself shot for the flu -- and we'll see how well that works -- then decided since Tam was already gettin' a raw ordeal from Blogoradosis and I might yet be ordealt in myself, I had best come up with something healthful and nourishing, full of vegetables and wonderfulness.
Something sort of this-ish.Pondered what I had in the freezer (high-grade vexed migtables) and the larder (an onion, a turnip and the possibility of beef stock), then hit the market in the way home. A couple of vine-ripe tomatoes (anyway, they're red-red, not pink-orange), a couple of potatoes, a mettwurst, a pound of very good beef, a little celery seed ('cos they had no snappy fresh celery and you do want a bit of it) and some just-in-case-I-was-wrong beef stock later, I was home, slaving over a hot stove:
Slice the mettwurst, toss in the pot with a kiss of olive oil to brown; dice the steak while that's goin', then add it with a little salt and pepper. Dice the onion and barely brown it in a small skillet, then add to the meat with a splash of red wine. Cook it down and add stock to cover. Dice the turnip,* saute, add to the pot. (Top up the stock as needed throughout the process; it should simmer, short of a boil).
The potatoes, I microwaved for a couple of minutes, diced and into the pot, which is starting to smell gooood. But wait! Those lovely tomatoes! They'll never cook down in time. What to do? --There's a cheat. It sounds nutty, but if you dice them and saute in a little olive oil, with a dash of salt and whatever else strikes your fancy, just cook them 'til they are nice and soft, they'll go right in like they've been simmered for hours. Maybe better.
Finally, bring it to a boil. Add a bit more stock and frozen mixed vegetable and follow package directions: bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for n minutes. (In which n is a number greater than three but less than 15.)Let it set a bit, then serve and season to taste. Ahhhh! Tam's bowl was empty quickly but I think I was quicker.
Put the leftover soup (if any; I made extra on purpose) in the fridge -- it'll be even better the next day.
* Any really good vegetable-type soup has a little cabbage, rutabaga or turnip in it. I don't know why but it does make a difference.
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