Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

I went to the farmers’ market today to see what looked good. I couldn’t resist the bell peppers, they looked amazing, and of course I can’t leave without getting some sweet onions and fresh garlic bulbs. Then I walked nextdoor to the meat market. I decided on the grass-fed ground beef. As I was walking up to the register it hit me, Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup!

It’s fun to reivent a recipe we’re all familar with and reconstucting it into something a little different.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (8-quart) Dutch oven, chef’s knife, soup ladle, measuring spoons

2 1/2 pounds of ground beef (85% lean)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 sweet onions, diced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 yellow peppers, seeded and diced
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
2 fresh bay leaves, substitute 1 dried
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)
1 (28-ounce) can of organic diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 quarts of chicken broth, unsalted
2 packets of Success boil-in-a-bag of Basmati quick-cooking rice (approx. 1 cup uncooked per packet) 
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving

Start by prepping all the vegetables for the soup. Set those aside. Set out all the spices needed for the soup.

Preheat a Duch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and ground beef. Using the back of a wooden spoon break up the meat. Add the dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, 1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Occasionally stirring, add in the red pepper flakes, cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.

Once the meat is brown, using a ladle skim off any of the excess fat (around 3/4 of a cup). Next, add 1 cup of chicken broth to the pot. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the diced onions, diced bell peppers, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, stir to combine. Add the minced garlic, again, stir to combine. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the bay leaves, fire-roasted tomatoes, and the remaining chicken broth, stir to combine. Bring up to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 30 minutes.

At this point add both bags of the Basmati rice into the pot, stir to combine, cook for another 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, add the fresh chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, stir to combine, cover until ready to serve.

Ladle a good helping of the soup into a serving bowl, grate fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over top and serve. There you have it, my Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup.