There's nothing more comforting on a cold day than a good hearty soup. This is one of our favorites. I like to make it when we have guests coming to visit, because I can make it ahead and keep it warm on the stove until we're ready for dinner. Plus, it makes enough for a crowd. And it freezes well! It's a winner all around.
1 pound of lean ground beef (I actually used ground turkey breast. Both are great)
3 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 of medium onion, chopped
30 oz. jar spaghetti sauce (can use favorite chunky garden style. I used Rao's because it is lower in carbs)
1 (10 1/2-ounce) can condensed beef broth, undiluted
2 cups water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (16 ounce) package frozen mixed veggies
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
Saute onion and celery in a splash of olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and saute just until fragrant, careful not to burn garlic. Add in beef or turkey and brown until cooked through, breaking meat apart with spatula. Stir spaghetti sauce and next 5 ingredients into the mixture and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mixed vegetables and diced tomatoes; return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes more, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
*To freeze leftovers, I use large muffin tins sprayed and lined to freeze 1/2 cup servings. Pop them out once frozen and store in zip bags. You can defrost individual servings in microwave as needed.