One pot dish can feed a large crowd

December 21, 2011|Scott Anderson | Culinary Passion

This soup was an old standby right before Christmas break during my college days. I would get the soup started and as friends dropped by, each would bring along some to "add to the pot" and the fun was seeing how a truly delicious soup developed after everyone adding their ingredients.

The vegetables and meats are mainly what we added, but you can change it up by adding more root vegetables, legumes or cooked rice. I'd also suggest trying chorizo, sliced steak or even some wild game if you have some to add to the pot.  

In any case, just let your taste buds be the guide while preparing this soup. Take time to enjoy the Christmas season with family and friends because everyone adding a little bit of themselves to the holiday will make the season brighter.

Happy holidays!

— Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Chef Ambassador to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

Add to the Pot  Soup

4 cups thinly sliced onions

3 garlic clove, minced

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

3 1/2 quarts beef broth

2 cups crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon tarragon

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Hot pepper sauce to taste

Vegetables (choose two or three):

1 1/2 cups diced green pepper, tomato, celery, squash, zucchini or carrots

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms, bamboo shoots, baby corn or potatoes

Meats (choose two):

3 cups cooked mini meatballs

3 cups cubed cooked chicken

3 cups diced fully cooked ham

12 ounces sliced cooked kielbasa or smoked sausage


Garnishes (choose three or four):

Sour cream

Shredded cheddar cheese

Chopped fresh parsley


Minced green onions

In a large stockpot, sauté the onions and garlic in butter until translucent.  

Stir in flour and blend well. Add broth, crushed tomatoes, vinegar and seasonings.

Mix well.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  

Add two or three vegetables; simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Add two meats; heat through.

Serve with garnish or place to the side.

Makes about 16 to 18 servings (or about 5 quarts)

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