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Playing Quick Italian-Style Beef and Vegetable Soup


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound 80- to 90%-lean ground sirloin
  • 2 medium thin-skinned white or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 cubanelle pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 herb bundle of 1 fresh bay leaf and a few sprigs each parsley and thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
  • 1 piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
  • 1/3 pound (a couple of small handfuls) thin green beans (haricots verts), cut on an angle into 1-inch pieces
  • Grated Parm, for passing


Serves: 4


In a soup pot with a lid, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high to high.  Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up with a spoon, until browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in the potatoes; season with salt and pepper.
Finely chop the celery, pepper, onion, and garlic and add to the pot. Add the stock, tomatoes, herb bundle and cheese rind; partially cover and bring to a boil over high.  Reduce the heat to medium and keep the soup at a low boil until the flavors from the cheese rind and herbs are released, about 10 minutes. Add the green beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes more.

Discard the cheese rind and herb bundle. Serve the soup in shallow bowls, passing grated cheese at the table.


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