hamburger-soup.jpg

It has been almost two years since our tomato bottling extravaganza and we still have a fair amount of diced and crushed tomatoes to use up.  So I’ve been getting creative.  We’ve poured them over crock-pot roasts, stirred them into various soups, and turned them into salsa.  I thought I’d share a couple of fun recipes we’ve used to rotate tomatoes.  I’d love to hear how you are using yours.

SIMPLE HAMBURGER SOUP (pictured above)

1 lb. lean ground beef, browned (I used 1 pint jar we had bottled in the soup pictured)

2 cups beef broth

rice (I used one pouch boil-in bag instant brown rice–out of the bag :))

1 c. sliced carrots

1 c. sliced celery

1 qt. crushed tomatoes

1 sm. can tomato sauce

sprinkle in dehydrated onion, oregano, garlic salt, and pepper to taste

Brown ground beef in large skillet or pot.  Add beef broth, carrot, celery and uncooked rice (or use leftover rice and stir in at end).  Allow rice to cook the length of time indicated on package.  Test vegetables for tenderness.  They should be cooked by the time the rice is soft.  Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings. 

My family loves this simple soup. It’s fast, easy and healthy.  We served it with Alison’s Pantry Buttermilk Biscuits.  I love homemade breads with soup, but this almost-homemade substitute is handy when I’m in a hurry.  It’s a mix that just requires water.  It makes a perfect dough that is easy to work with, and bakes up tender and tasty.

We’re also whipping up speedy salsa with our tomatoes with Salsa Seasoning from Alison’s Pantry.  It’s a complete spice blend that can be added to fresh or canned tomatoes for instant salsa.  You can leave it as-is or dress it up with avocado (my favorite), diced peaches, diced mango, or pineapple tidbits.  I love this spice blend for enhancing my food storage. I think stocking basic foods and plenty of spices gives me a lot of options.  I can give my bottled tomatoes lots of different flavors with a variety of seasonings.  If I don’t have salsa on hand, I can still stir some up in seconds and make this family favorite crock-pot meal. (This recipe is well-loved throughout the internet, but I’m posting it anyway because it’s one of my absolute favorites!)

CROCK POT CAFE RIO PORK

3-4 lb. pork roast

1 c. salsa

1 c. brown sugar

1 c. 7up or Sprite

Combine salsa, brown sugar and 7up.  Pour over roast in crock pot and cook 8-10 hours on low.  Shred meat with two forks and stir into juices in crock pot.  This meat can be used in tacos or burritos, but we love it in the copycat Cafe Rio salads:  Place a soft flour tortilla (Costco’s fresh bake-yourself-type tortillas are the best!) in a bowl, then layer on rice, black beans, shredded pork, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and ranch dressing with cilantro stirred into it.  My friend Brittney introduced me to this recipe and we sing her praises every time we enjoy it!   You can make your salads like the restaurant and add guacamole too.  Try AP’s “Yummy Guacamole Seasoning” to mix up a fresh batch.  You just stir the seasoning into 2 mashed avocados.  It comes in an 8 oz. pkg. that will make several batches. (Seven-layer bean dip cravings can be satisfied this way as well!)  I’m trying not to salivate as I type…

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2 Comments to “Using Bottled Tomatoes”

  1. Brittney says:

    YESSSSSSSSSs I’m famous now! Seriously I learned that even more sugar is the best. 🙂 I do about 1 and 1/3 cups. Maybe you should try Agave instead though. Those biscuits look goooood.

  2. Tammy says:

    How easy is that?! I can’t wait to try it.

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