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THE RECIPE BOX: Hearty beef soup good for cold wintry days

This beef soup is hearty and is filled with sweet potatoes, onion, carrots and tomatoes. (Staff Photo: Julie Wells)

This beef soup is hearty and is filled with sweet potatoes, onion, carrots and tomatoes. (Staff Photo: Julie Wells)

After shopping in three stores, I finally found my new Crock-Pot. Needless to say, I’ve got a couple of returns to make because I bought others along the way just in case I didn’t find anything better.

First of all, I really dislike returning items to the store. I’ve gotten a little better since having my daughter, Joy, but I still don’t like to. But I was determined to get a Crock-Pot as close to our old one as possible, and I did. I went on a mission and I accomplished it.

After finding the perfect one, I came home, washed it and went to using it.

I had my eye on the weather reports about the possibility of snow, and I knew my first dish in the new Crock-Pot had to be some type of soup.

I’d been toying around with the idea of some type of beef stew, so I went that route.

I also used an ingredient — sweet potato — that I’ve never used in a soup before. I’ll be using it again; it was a nice change from the regular white potato.

Also, tomatoes are sometimes getting kind of boring, so I traded out one of the cans of regular flavored diced tomatoes for a can of fire-roasted tomatoes. I’ll be doing more often as well. The fire-roasted tomatoes gave the soup a little spice, but just the right amount.

Enjoy.

Beef soup

32 ounces of beef stock (with no msg)

1 to 1 ½ pounds of beef stew meat

One large sweet onion

Half of a package of onion soup mix, dry

One large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks

1 cup of carrots, sliced

One can of tomatoes, diced

One can of fire-roasted tomatoes, diced

In a slow cooker, layer the following ingredients: onion, sweet potato, carrots, stew meat (you do not have to brown the meat first), onion soup mix, can of fire-roasted tomatoes and can of the diced tomatoes.

Pour the beef stock over all of the ingredients and stir everything together a few times.

Cook on low for eight hours.

Tip: Add a cup of chopped bell peppers for more flavor.