An oldie but goodie, I've been making this soup for years~ since it was included in the 1993 Southern Living Cookbook. A bowl of this medley of vegetables, ground beef, spaghetti sauce, tomatoes with spicy green chiles offers a "warm winter's hug!"
The original recipe is below. I enjoy this vegetable soup following the recipe as originally published. I have also added some of my personal modifications in italics below in case you want to change it up a bit.
SPICY VEGETABLE SOUP
1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 (30-ounce) jar chunky garden-style spaghetti sauce with mushrooms and peppers
1 (10-1/2 ounce) can beef broth, undiluted
2 cups water
1 cup sliced celery
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 (16-ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
Cook first 3 ingredients in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until meat is browned, stirring to crumble. Drain and return meat to Dutch oven. Add spaghetti sauce and next 6 ingredients. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes and vegetables 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Yield: 12 cups.
My notes and modifications: I always let the soup simmer longer than the original recipe specifies-- I love the taste of slow-simmered flavors. I use Laura's 96% Lean Ground Beef (making draining meat unnecessary). I also chop an entire onion which yields more than a cup. My favorite broth is "Kitchen Basics" brand and I prefer using the entire carton of vegetable stock. This yields more liquid so I end up adding an additional bag of frozen mixed vegetables and some V-8 or tomato juice-- depending on how thick I want the soup to be. I've even made it omitting the ground beef and substituting canned rinsed beans. Another variation I tried is leaving out the ground beef and adding shrimp just before dishing into bowls. So my advice is: try it and have fun with it!