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Start by cooking the ground beef until it’s well-browned. Don’t rush this, because browning adds flavor. While the beef is browning, start simmering the stock, canned tomatoes, sauerkraut, sweetener of your choice, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, parsley, and sage. When the beef is well-browned, add it to the soup pot and let the soup continue to simmer.
Heat more olive oil in the same frying pan and saute the chopped onions, then add the minced garlic and saute a few minutes more. Add the onions and garlic to the soup and simmer on low about one hour, or until the sauerkraut has softened and broken down in the soup. After an hour taste the soup to see if it seems too strong and add some water if needed. (Simmer a little longer if you add water.)
Season to taste with a generous amount of fresh-ground black pepper (and a little salt if desired) and serve hot, with or without sour cream.
Ground Beef and Sauerkraut Soup
(Makes about 8 servings; I know I was inspired by a recipe I saw somewhere, but I can’t remember where I saw it!)
1 lb. very lean ground beef (less than 10% fat)
2-3 tsp. olive oil (depending on your pan)
2 cups homemade chicken stock or 1 can (14 oz. can) chicken broth
2 or 3 cans (14 oz. can) beef broth (depending on how thick you prefer the soup; start with 2 cans and add more if desired)
1 can (14.5 oz. can) diced tomatoes with juice
1 can (14 oz. can) sauerkraut with juice (or use bottled sauerkraut)
1 T granulated Stevia, brown sugar, or sweetener of your choice
1 T Worcestershire sauce (gluten-free if needed)
3-4 dried bay leaves
3 T minced parsley or 1-2 T dried parsley
1 tsp. dried rubbed sage
1 large onion, chopped small
1 T minced garlic (or less if you’re not that fond of garlic)
1-2 cups water (if needed)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
In heavy frying pan, heat 1 tsp. olive oil, add ground beef and brown well, breaking into small pieces with turner. This will take as much as ten minutes but don’t rush the browning step.
While ground beef browns, combine chicken stock, beef stock, canned tomatoes, sauerkraut, sweetener of your choice, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, parsley and sage in large stock pot. Bring to a low simmer.
When beef is well browned, add to soup in pot. Deglaze pan with a bit of the soup liquid, scraping off any browned bits, and add to soup.
Wipe out frying pan and add other 1-2 tsp. olive oil. Saute onions 2-3 minutes, until starting to soften, then add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes more. Add to soup, reduce heat under soup pot and let soup simmer at low heat about one hour.After an hour, taste for seasoning and add water if soup seems too strong. Simmer 15 minutes more if adding water. Season to taste with fresh-ground black pepper (and a little salt if desired) before serving. Serve hot, with sour cream if desired.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This would be a perfect Phase One lunch or dinner for the South Beach Diet, and it would also be approved for other types of low-carb eating plans. (South Beach and low-carb diets would recommend using an approved sweetener, but even if you used brown sugar this is still a very low-carb soup.)
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