Just like the song “Oh What a Night” by the Four Seasons takes me back, helps me remember my dad’s age, and makes me want to jam all at the same time – this Quick & Easy Vegetable Beef Soup (served with a side of cheese sandwiches) takes me back to my high school lunch room and not in a bad way.
Vegetable beef soup with cheese sandwiches was one of my favorite school lunches, not the favorite because that title is held by pigs in a blanket, but definitely a close second. It was so good that I wanted my kids and Mr. FFB to know of its deliciousness. And that, my friend, is why I’ve recreated this lunchroom fave in my own kitchen.
I mean, that and the fact that whenever I dip my cheese sandwich into that simple soup, it takes me back to my youth and my high school lunchroom where shenanigans and good times were had by all. Not to mention, it’s also quick and super easy to make on short time.
Isn’t it funny how certain songs and foods can take you back to a certain place and time and bring back memories every time you hear/eat them? What are some songs or foods that take you back and stir up memories for you?
Don’t forget the rules of food safety! Here is the short list:
- Always wash your hands before and after handling raw meat.
- Never thaw meat on the counter – instead thaw in the refrigerator, microwave or cool water bath.
- Always wash cutting boards and plates after having been in contact with raw meat.
- Always cook to appropriate internal temperatures. Safe internal temperatures vary based on cut. Hamburger must reach a safe and savory 160 degrees, while steak is safe at 145 degrees.
1 pound of ground beef
1 1/2 cup sliced carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup cubed potatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 quart tomato juice
1 cup water
2 teaspoons beef bouillon
Heat a medium to large stockpot over medium-high heat, add the ground beef, break it up into small pieces, and brown for 8-10 minutes or until the ground beef is no longer pink. Once the ground beef is thoroughly cooked, remove it from the stockpot and set aside, reserving 2 teaspoons(ish) of fat.
Add the carrots, celery, and onion to the stock pot. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until the onion becomes fragrant and transparent.
Add the beef back to the pot. Toss in the potatoes, basil, oregano, parsley, tomato juice, water, and beef bouillon. Give it a stir, making sure all the ingredients are combined. Bring it all to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots and celery are fork tender.
Remove the soup from the heat, dish it up, and serve with a side of cheese sandwiches. Enjoy!
The cheese sandwiches I refer to are simply your choice of bread, spread with miracle whip, and American cheese.