We recently changed churches. It was about us needing to get back to our "comfort zone". We belonged to Methodist churches in the North GA conference for 25 years and since we could travel an additional 5 minutes to get back to one, we made the move. The preacher (although he is also new) assured me that this was a busy church but not pushy. He and I need to talk again! These ladies invited, gently prodded, recruited and finally insisted that I join the Food (duh!) and Hospitality Committee. One of the first events of the committee was a Soup and Salad Luncheon after church this past Sunday.
There are about 15 ladies on the committee with a very strong, delightful leader who gives "marching orders" that no one would dare question. She is SUPER organized and keeps everyone on the right path. It's a good thing because these ladies are a HOOT! We spent a 1/2 day cleaning the kitchen and re-organizing a walk-in storage closet and you would have thought we were going to visit the Queen Mother! They can make a party out of any situation! Talk about doing the Lord's work with a smile! I laughed at/with this group until I was exhausted!
What a blessing to be with them!
I busied myself looking for a "special" soup recipe that might prove me worthy of belonging to this group. Not going to happen. We were instructed to make either Vegetable Beef or Ham and Bean Soup. And THE recipe was distributed. Now, who, in their right mind would argue with that? Especially a newbie! So, here is THE recipe from a lovely new friend, Mary Strain. She says she never actually uses a recipe but just puts things together. She took the time to think through and write this one down. It is delicious! I made a huge pot with a few minor changes/additions (which I noted in italics). Now, that does not surprise you, does it?
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new church and the ladies on the committee. I could not have asked for a more wonderful church home and church family. Thank you for the warm welcome !
Now, go forth and make a pot of this soup and freeze some for later!
Mary Strain's Vegetable Beef Soup
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound minced beef (stew meat, roast, London Broil or whatever beef is on sale!) ( used an entire sirloin tip roast - about 2 lbs +)
1 (16 oz) pkg frozen soup mix vegetables
1 (16 oz) pkg frozen gumbo mix (used 2 bags of gumbo mix and one of mixed vegetables)
1 cup frozen baby limas (used an entire bag)
4 potatoes, peeled and diced (my addition)
2 (28 oz) cans petite chopped tomatoes
1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp tabasco sauce (omitted this and used 1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning)
1/2 cup pearl barley ( omitted this)
2 cans beef bouillion ( used 3 boxes )
Saute beef and onion until browned. Combine all ingredients in a LARGE stockpot or crockpot.
Cook it all together for a couple of hours or toss it all in a crock pot for 4 or so hours.