This recipe is an adaptation of a soup that appeared in the first cookbook I ever owned. In 1964 I received the gift of my still loved, but terribly battered first edition, third printing 1961 Betty Crocker cookbook from my Aunt Ruth. Along with several metal baking dishes, some of which I still use today. And one of the first recipes I tried from my new cookbook, was the bones of this recipe for a very simple, economical, savory, and healthy soup.

Of course in those days I wasn’t as much interested in healthy as I was in simply filling my new husband’s and my tummies at a price two full time college students could afford! (And no, there was no red wine in the original recipe, nor was there any red wine in our household.) We were basically eating anything that didn’t eat us first. And the likes of beer and wine were simply not in our budget. (Mores the pity!) 

But over the years I have added ingredients to the original recipe to make it my own. And today, when healthy counts more for us than the price of a dish, this soup is just as welled loved as it was in the 60s. It simply bursts with flavor, even though the ingredients are healthy and economical.

So if you too love a hearty soup that is easy to prepare, contains healthy ingredients, and is economical – give this recipe a try. (And no, you don’t have to be a starving student to enjoy this soup. But if you are a starving student, add more potatoes. That’s what I used to do.)

  • 2 tsp. oil (olive, vegetable, avocado, etc.)
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ c. red wine
  • 2 c. beef stock
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • ½ c. ketchup
  • 1 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 small potatoes, cubed
  • 2 T. chopped fresh Italian parsley, opt.

Heat oil in a medium sized covered pan. Add the meat and cook until browned. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the red wine and cook until almost all the liquid is evaporated. Add the beef stock, pepper, bay leaf, basil, ketchup, Kitchen Bouquet, Worcestershire sauce, and canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Stir periodically. (Add water if the soup starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.) Add the potatoes and cook for another 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Adjust seasoning, add parsley, and serve piping hot.  

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks