This is a soup I have begun to feature annually on my Christmas Eve menu for our family gathering. I debated whether I should call this recipe “Christmas Soup” (go ahead, you can call it that if you like.) Use a combo of red and green peppers and you have a festive soup!
One great thing about this soup is that you don’t have to use broth. All too often it is difficult to make a LEAP diet friendly soup without making broth yourself. Store bought broth/stock that meets the criteria of your LEAP diet can be hard to come by (as anyone reactive to carrots and/or onions can attest!) You can use broth in this recipe in place of the water, but you will not compromise flavor if you just use water and plenty of salt! (In fact, when I tested this on my Farmer he said, “Now what did you say you left out of this? It tastes fine to me!”)
Salt… that life may always have flavor!
I am a huge George Bailey fan and just had to slip in a quote from my all-time favorite Christmas movie! Any other It’s a Wonderful Life fans out there?
If you aren’t using broth you will need to adjust salt to your preference. Don’t be afraid of using 1 tablespoon of salt in this large of a pot. The flavor is really amplified with an adequate amount of salt. You might even find that you prefer 4 teaspoons of salt in the recipe — just taste and see!
You can change ingredients around to fit your personal LEAP diet plan. Here are a few ideas:
- Try ground pork, turkey, or lamb in place of beef…
- Try leeks in place of onions
- Omit carrots
- Add in whole kernel corn instead of potatoes
- Use cooked rice, quinoa, pasta, or millet in place of potatoes
- Try sweet potatoes in place of white potatoes or in place of carrots
- Add in pintos or lentils in place of beef
- Add lima beans or green peas
- Use basil in place of oregano
- Omit parsley if needed
- Omit garlic if needed
- Omit cayenne and black pepper if needed
Corn Free Tomatoes
It’s a bit hard to find tomatoes without any other additives. Often times that includes citric acid which is often corn derived. My youngest Little Farmer still can’t eat citric acid without becoming hyper and breaking out in eczema (and I have heard of other people who have reactions to citric acid as well.) Unless you are disciplined to put away your own tomatoes every summer, you might come to this season at a loss for tomatoes to use in a soup. I was happy to find that Jovial foods makes a delicious line of additive-free tomato products in glass jars — order some through Thrive Market and get 25% off of your first order + free shipping and a free month of membership through my link here!
- 2 pounds Ground Beef Chuck or Ground Turkey
- 1 whole Large Onion, Diced (or substitute leeks)
- 3 large Bell Peppers (any color), seeded and diced - choose green or red in first phases of LEAP
- 3 cloves Minced Garlic - can omit
- 3 cups (24 fl. oz) water OR no salted added/low sodium chicken stock (or beef stock)
- 4 whole Carrots, washed well, and sliced into ½ in. thick rounds
- 5 large or 7 small whole Red or Golden Potatoes, cut into 1 in. cubes
- 18 oz. jar of Crushed Tomatoes (Jovial brand works well)
- 4 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (Jovial brand works well)
- 2 teaspoons Dried Parsley Flakes
- 2 teaspoons Ground Oregano
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon Sea Salt or up to 4 teaspoons to taste (if using salted stock or broth, reduce or omit salt)
- 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper, or to taste
- ¾ cup uncooked millet
- 2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, brown the meat with the peppers and onion until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic to pot during the last 1-2 minutes of cooking.
- Return the pot to the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Stir. Bring to a boil. (If using millet, you may need to add 8-12 fl. oz more water (and adjust seasoning to taste.)
- Reduce heat to medium. Cover the pot and simmer the soup for 15-20 more minutes, until potatoes are tender but not overly mushy. (You should be able to pierce the potatoes or carrots easily with a fork but they shouldn't fall apart.)
- Soup should be somewhat thick, but if you'd like it to be more "soupy," add 1 to 2 cups more water broth/stock. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt, black pepper, or cayenne pepper to taste.
- To freeze: Spread leftover soup in a shallow baking dish to cool quickly at room temperature. Label quart-sized zippered freezer bags with contents and date. Add 3-4 cups cooled soup to the bag. Also may freeze in individual glass containers or wide mouth mason jars for a quick and easy lunch.
Our Favorite Things
This Lodge Dutch oven has been my go-to soup pot for years now… it works just like the higher end look-alike, but for a much lower price point. We have the blue, but the red is so cheery! Wondering if you should buy this for your mom or sister for Christmas? Yes, you should! (And give her a copy of this recipe inside 🙂
Want to speed things up a bit? You can make this soup in an InstantPot as well… either in the slow cooker mode or the soup mode…
Serve with a side of Hot Water Corn Bread – try my recipe here. Accompany with a fresh green salad or just some orange slices or fresh pineapple.
Need an easy meal to share with family or friends visiting for the holidays? This is quick and easy and sure to please the whole crowd!
Test this recipe in your own kitchen and and share your personal favorite variation in the comments below.
And, by the way, what’s your favorite Christmas movie?
Here’s to Wholesome! (and cozy winter evenings!)