The furnace man came today. Long story short – It’s only a little broken (actually clogged with crud), but he can’t fix it because he’s not certified to work on RV furnaces. Eh. A call will be placed to the RV service guy tomorrow. Luckily, there’s a guy in Vermontville. Here’s hopin’.
I was looking for the furnace manual and schematic in our big folder of manuals-and-schematics, and I ran across an old cookbook. Took a look, and found a great early Fall recipe, right up my alley. I adapted it a bit (okay, a lot) and came up with – Voilà! – a French Onion and Vegetable Gratiné. Sort of like a really hearty, almost minestrone, French onion soup sort of thing.
Here ’tis. Super easy, and this would be a great crockpot recipe if you browned the beef and onions ahead of time. (Good way to get rid of those tough green beans that you let grow too big, too!)
* * *
1/2 to 3/4 lb lean Ground Beef
1 Small Onion
1 16 oz. can Tomatoes (chopped, or chop your own)
64 oz. (ish) Beef Broth
1/3 cup Marsala or Red Wine
1/2 to 1/3 cup Elbow Macaroni
1/2 cup fresh or frozen green beans
1/2 to 3/4 cup (or one can drained) corn
1 16 oz. can (or equivalent) white beans (navy, great northern, cannellini, etc)
1 Bay Leaf
1 to 2 teaspoons spices of your choice (Oregano, Basil, Marjoram, etc.)
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 slices toasted French Bread
2 (or more) slice mozzarella (or provolone) cheese
In a skillet (or right in your soup pot), brown your ground beef and chopped onion. Add remaining ingredients, except bread and cheese. Your beef broth should cover everything comfortably. Really, just make sure you like the mix of vegetables, and cover it all with broth. No big. I use almost two of those cardboard 32 oz. cartons of broth, because I cook it down quite a bit.. (Aldi has those 32 oz. broth boxes for a dollar-something each.) Anyhow. You might not use the whole 64 oz. Really, just be sure the broth covers by an inch or so. (How’s that for a precise measurement?) Cook until vegetables are tender, stirring now and then. Taste. You can add a little water if it’s too strong for you. Discard the bay leaf. Spoon into an oven-proof gratiné dish, place the toasted bread on top of the soup, and top with a slice of mozzarella. Bake at 450/500F a short time until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
You have a great dinner too!