Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cajun Beef Soup

I had this in, of all places, a hospital cafeteria recently and it was so good I found myself pushing the ingredients around and taking notes so I would be able to recreate it. The only thing missing here is baby lima beans, which I find most people don't like much anyway (but I adore), so I left them out.

This is a thick and hearty soup closer to a stew and the flavor is very rich. Step up the heat however you like with more cayenne or even a good hot sauce. Substitute the spices and herbs for a good quality Cajun seasoning - a tablespoon or so should do it.

Cajun Beef Soup
Ready In: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Serves: 8-10

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced green pepper
2 cloves garlic
8 cups beef stock
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced potato
2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 cups black eyed peas
3 cups chopped cabbage
1 can diced tomatoes - undrained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt

1. In a large soup pot brown ground beef with onion and green pepper. Drain well.
2. Add garlic and beef stock and cover with a heavy lid. Simmer for half an hour until beef is very tender.
3. Add remaining ingredients and lid again. Simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Soup is done when vegetables are tender and soup base is thick.