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One of the most wonderful things about cooking is taking an old family favorite and putting your own spin on it, as Peggy has done here.

  • 2 lbs. ground chuck
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced and divided
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 1 yellow or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 8 large garden tomatoes (4 lbs.) OR
    1 large (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 large (28-oz.) cans tomato sauce (or 1 can sauce and 1 can tomato soup)
  • 1 large (14-oz.) can tomato paste (this can still be added to thicken sauce made with fresh garden tomatoes)
  • 1/2 Cup dry red wine
  • 1 tsp. BEEF SOUP BASE
  • 1-3 tsp, PENZEYS FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER, to taste
  • 1-2 TB. CALIFORNIA BASIL, to taste
  • Tabasco sauce, to taste

Brown the meat over medium-high heat in 2-3 batches, 6-8 minutes per batch, with the onion and half of the garlic; drain well and set aside. Sauté the mushrooms, carrots and peppers in the same pan with the remaining garlic and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. If using whole tomatoes, bring a pot of water to a boil, cut an X in the stem end and plunge the tomatoes in the boiling water for 20 seconds. Remove, rinse, and the skin will slip right off. Core the tomatoes and place in a large stockpot along with the wine and BEEF SOUP BASE. If you are using canned tomatoes, sauce and paste, combine them in the stockpot. Add the meat and vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least 2 hours. Taste and add PEPPER, BASIL and Tabasco sauce to taste. Simmer another 20 minutes and serve.

**A note from Peggy: "In the summer and fall I use fresh tomatoes (not the canned products) and fresh basil. Sometimes I still use the tomato paste to thicken the sauce."

Prep. time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Serves: 16

Nutritional Information:
Servings 16; Serving Size 1 cup (275g); Calories 150; Calories from fat 30; Total fat 3.5g; Cholesterol 35mg; Sodium 140mg; Carbohydrate 15g; Dietary Fiber 4g; Sugars 8g; Protein 16g.

Beef Soup Base and Seasoning 8 oz. jar
Penzeys Freshly Ground Pepper 2.4oz 1/2 cup jar
Basil California .2 oz. 1/4 cup jar

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