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End of the Summer Garden Beef Soup & Sweet Apple Tart

Chef Linda Weiss
Photos by Robert Shober

On September 22, at 5:18 PM, fall will officially begin in the Northern Hemisphere. We are looking forward to some cooler weather here on the coast, and I'm already planning what soups I'm going to make and put in the freezer for cooler days.

Vegetable Soup.JPGMy favorite soup is a big pot of vegetable beef soup using the last of the summer garden vegetables.

Just give me a big bowl of this with a piece of cornbread right in the center to pull out to the side with a spoon of soup, and I'm in food heaven.  Although, I will have to admit that I do occasionally slip in a pimiento cheese sandwich to dip into the soup, all it really needs to finish off this meal is a yummy dessert. See the apple tart recipe below. You'll be surprised at how easy and delicious it is.

The vegetable beef soup is very versatile. It freezes well and I usually pour it into serving size freezable containers and take out what we need when we need a quick meal. It also feeds a crowd if you want to warm up with a good soup during a football tailgate party. Just don't forget to bring that your favorite good cornbread along.

This recipe belonged to Sarah Webb who cooked it every fall and winter for our family until she passed away. I named the soup Sarah's Vegetable Beef Soup in my cookbook Memories From Home to honor the wonderful memories that she left us.

Enjoy the taste of home.

Sarah's Vegetable Beef Soup

2 pounds ground sirloin
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
6 cups water
2-1/2 tablespoons beef granules or beef flavoring base
1 cup celery, sliced
2/3 cup onion, chopped
1/4 red pepper, diced
1-1/2 cups okra, sliced
2 cups corn
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup large dice potatoes
1/2 cup green limas
1/2 green beans cut into 1-inch length
1 large tomato, chopped (this adds extra freshness)
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
Pepper to taste

Brown the beef in a large stockpot or soup pot. Add the butter and let it melt, and then add the flour. Cook for several minutes to cook the flour. Add the water and the beef granules. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer covered for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Makes about 13 cups. Freezes Well.

Linda note: If you'd like to make this later and garden veggies are not available, use 1 (16-ounce) package frozen soup vegetables and 1 (16-ounce) package frozen vegetable gumbo.

Apples are available for the picking right now, so I thought you might like an easy and I do mean easy, apple tart to have with the soup. I made it this week and it was gone the first night. My husband took one bite and immediately cut another slice. Hope you enjoy it.


Apple Tart

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

1 ready made refrigerated pie crust (or your own 9-inch crust)
Apples, peeled and cored, sliced 1/8-inch thin and enough to cover the pie crust (I used Braeburn)
2 tablespoons sugar
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1/3 cup apricot jam or preserves

Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray. Unroll the pie crust and place flat down on the baking sheet. Cover the crust with one layer of sliced apples starting about 1/2 inch in from the crust edge. Sprinkle with sugar, then sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Bake until the crust is brown and apples are tender. If the crust starts to brown before the apples are tender, just put a piece of foil around the edges of the tart. When the tart is done, remove from the oven. Set aside.  Heat the apricot jam in the microwave or a small pan. Brush the crust and apples with apricot jam.

Serve warm.


Pimiento Cheese Sandwich

2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 large pimiento pepper from a jar of �sweet pimiento flame roasted peppers
Mayonnaise to moisten well

Chop the pimiento into a small dice. Save the rest of the jar in the fridge to use at another time.

Add the cheese, pimiento pepper and mayonnaise to a bowl. Mix well.

Spread the pimiento cheese on bread (French bread is good) and toast open face, or grill like you would a grilled cheese.

Or do something really sophisticated like I do and eat it on white bread in a sandwich.


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