Over a Cup of Coffee: Ground beef soup and ground beef casserole

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Diane Prather

When mornings start to turn cold, I begin thinking about cooking up a pot of soup. Recently, I made “Ground Beef and Vegetable Soup,” in fact, I’ve made it twice.

I don’t care much for dry onion soup mix, so in the future I may experiment with using a little less than a packet in the soup. My husband Lyle liked the recipe the way it is, however.

The original recipe didn’t call for the pasta, but I like it. I used about a handful of shell-type pasta.

The soup is easy to make so you can mix it up after work and have soup for dinner. You might enjoy it with a grilled cheese sandwich.

There are several different recipes for casseroles in which tater tots are arranged on top. I found “Ground Beef Casserole” in my “untried” file. It’s a little different than other tater tot casseroles.

For one thing, there’s more ground beef in the casserole. For another, slices of cheese can be used (not just grated).

I tried the recipe and like it.

Ground Beef and Vegetable Soup

1 (16-ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables

1 (1-ounce) envelope onion soup mix

1 pound ground beef

1 (46-ounce) can cocktail vegetable juice

1 handful uncooked pasta

Brown ground beef. Break into small pieces. Drain and set aside. Combine the cocktail vegetable juice, onion soup mix and frozen vegetables in a soup pot. Bring to a boil. Stir the meat into the vegetables. Stir in the pasta. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until pasta is tender.

Ground Beef Casserole

3 pounds ground beef

½ small onion (minced)

2 cans cream of chicken soup

6 slices cheese (may be grated)

1 small package frozen tater tots

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with the ground beef. Salt and pepper the meat (to taste) layer the onion, soup and cheese over the meat. Arrange tater tots on top (one layer). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes, covered and then 15 minutes more, uncovered.

I’ve picked two zucchini from the garden. I planted the garden late. You probably have been picking them for a while. So what are your favorite zucchini recipes? Call me at 970-824-8809 or write to me at P.O. Box 415, Craig, CO, 81625.

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