With all of the holiday parties that people have or family get-togethers, people often will purchase a veggie tray and dip for folks to munch on. Of course, after a couple of days, the tray is picked over, most of the dip is gone yet there are a few pieces of each type of veggie left. I’m one of those folks who really hates to see food go to waste in any fashion so now’s the time to take those remaining veggies and make some vegetable soup.

I’m a carnivore so you can ignore this first step if you like but I like to start with a pound or so of stew beef, coated in flour then browned in the skillet and drained. While the meat is draining, I start with chopping up the veggie pieces.

Now I’m assuming that your veggie tray is going to have a mix of the standard grazing veggies. To me, this would be a mix of carrots, celery, broccoli, cucumbers, cauliflower, and radishes. To these basics I would add some chopped tomatoes and onion, fresh if possible on the tomato (since the rest of the veggies for the soup will be “fresh”). Maybe you’d set up some tomato and onion slices for burger add-ons for the family but I do use the canned chopped tomatoes if I don’t have anything else available.

Chop all your veggies up and throw them into your soup pot then add your meat. I then add some minced garlic, fresh ground pepper, and salt. From here, I’m going to add a couple of bottles or cans of whatever beer has been sitting in the fridge for a while. Surprisingly enough, things like Miller Lite or Budweiser work just fine for this. I then add water to get the level of the soup up to a reasonable point and throw in a bay leaf. Onto the stove and let it simmer for a few hours. Soon enough, the smell of all those veggies and everything coming together will move throughout the house. I cook it until the meat is falling apart then serve it with a fresh greens salad or sandwich and crackers. But as always, you should experiment to find the way you most like to have these types of dishes as all I present is what I like.

And because I can: