Can’t beat those favorite family recipes

Stuffed pepper soup easy and delicious

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Last week was especially busy for me at work, and I didn’t have time to experiment with a new recipe, but I did pull out an old favorite that I’ve decided to share again.

By the time Thursday rolled around at my house, I was out of ideas for what to cook. I had limited time at home around suppertime, so I needed something quick.

I remembered that over the weekend, I had purchased and cooked a pound of ground beef. It was waiting in the freezer. I had a few ideas of how to use it from skillet lasagna to vegetable beef soup. But then I remembered a recipe I hadn’t made in quite some time: stuffed bell pepper soup.

I first made this recipe in the fall of 2009 and shared it in my food column. The recipe combines all the flavors my husband and I enjoy in stuffed peppers, with ground beef, tomato and rice. It’s also very easy to make, especially with the use of pre-cooked rice that is made to warm in the microwave.

In didn’t take long to mix up the ingredients, and very soon I was smelling my yummy supper.

I knew Reggie and I would enjoy the soup, and my daughter had already requested a bowl as well. But I was surprised when my granddaughter, who was leaving before meal time, agreed to try a tiny bit on a spoon.

Sora looked pleasantly surprised after sampling the soup and then asked if she could have a small bowl of it. I very quickly got a bowl and filled it before she changed her mind. Then I watched as she ate it.

This is the girl who used to get quite upset if she saw a speck of green pepper in her spaghetti sauce. In fact, I’ve stopped adding chopped bell pepper to my spaghetti sauce because of her. Instead, I cut large wedges of pepper and let them simmer with the sauce to add flavor. Works perfectly.

Anyway, I tried to play it cool and not let on how shocked I was that she was eating the soup. When she finished, I noticed a pile of bell pepper cubes pushed to the side of her bowl.

“Didn’t want to eat those?” I asked. “Why don’t you try one?”

She is usually willing to try new foods, and she did this time as well. And after eating that first one, she ate the remaining peppers as well. Amazing.

So, this soup has an 8-year-old’s stamp of approval! Give it a try.

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

1 pound ground beef (I use 93 percent lean)

1 14 1⁄2-ounce can petite diced tomatoes

1 10 3⁄4-ounce can tomato soup

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup chopped bell pepper (I used one medium pepper)

1 14-ounce can reduced sodium beef broth

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 cups cooked rice (I used a bag of microwave brown rice, cooked)

Grated cheddar cheese

Brown beef, drain and rinse.

In soup pot, mix beef, tomatoes, tomato soup, salt and pepper to taste, bell pepper, beef broth and brown sugar. Let come to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until peppers are tender. Mix in cooked rice and stir to blend.

Pour into bowls. Sprinkle with cheese (about a tablespoon).