Stuffed Pepper Soup with Cauliflower Rice
If there is one type of food I make more than anything else, it’s soup. At any given time, my freezer is filled with soup. So much soup in fact, that we are always left scrambling trying to find space for my husband’s venison after hunting season. This is a situation which I know he finds to be especially irksome, however I have told him that this could be resolved if we got a larger freezer. He has thus far refused. And so, the Battle of the Deep Freeze will continue to be waged into the new year.
I made this particular soup during my first round of Whole 30 back in November. It’s a good choice again now because I feel like after eating my way through the holidays, my body is craving vegetables. I don’t want to even look at another brownie, cake, or cookie, gluten free or not. Don’t worry, that aversion to sweets will last all of five minutes. But for now, something with lots of vegetables is what I (and I bet you too!) need. Soup continues to be my go to meal and even though I now eat mostly dairy and wheat free, I can still prepare it just about the same as I would before, which is heavy on the vegetables with lean protein. As long as my broth/stock is gluten free then I’m usually always good to go.
Stuffed pepper soup is not uncommon, but I do have a few ingredients in this recipe that I don’t believe are the norm. For starters, I add a small can of pumpkin. It works really well to thicken the soup which is helpful since there is not a traditional starch to bulk it up. Instead of traditional rice, I use cauliflower rice. There is no gluten in rice, so you could definitely substitute cooked rice and still keep the soup gluten free. I was looking to make this Paleo and Whole 30-friendly, which is why I used cauliflower rice, and I think I prefer it that way. Lastly, to help balance the pumpkin, you add a whole bulb of roasted garlic for sweetness without sugar.
This soup freezes splendidly which is great because it makes a pretty big batch! It’s wheat free, dairy free, and low carb. Give it a try, even if you don’t have any dietary restrictions. Start your year off on a healthy note and fill up your freezer with stuffed pepper soup!
Makes 12 servings, 1 1/2 cups each.
- 2 Tbl. olive oil
- 2 cups diced onion
- 1 1/2 cups diced carrot
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 bulb roasted garlic
- 1 lb. ground turkey, lean beef, or venison
- 4 bell peppers (I like 2 red, 2 green)
- 6 cups cauliflower rice*
- 1 quart beef stock (I use Swanson which is gluten free)
- 1 quart canned tomatoes or 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 14 oz. can pumpkin
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 Tbl. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. dry oregano
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 2 Tbl. tomato paste
- 1. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add meat and cook until about half of it is browned. Add onions and saute mixture until onions are translucent and meat is completely cooked. I usually use ground venison which is very lean but if you need to drain any fat from your cooked meat mixture, you could do it now and then return the mixture to the pot.
- 2. In a separate bowl, mash roasted garlic with a fork. Add tomato paste and pumpkin, mixing well to break up any small clumps of garlic.
- 3. Add pumpkin mixture and broth to the pot, stirring to combine.
- 4. Pour in tomatoes, carrots, celery, peppers, herbs, and salt.
- 5. Increase heat and bring contents of pot to a low boil. Add cauliflower. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, until all vegetables are tender. If you used whole springs of thyme, use a pair of tongs to pull them out and discard before serving.
- *You can probably buy cauliflower rice in the produce section at your supermarket. To make your own, cut uncooked cauliflower florets and stalks into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, a little larger than grains of rice. Extra "rice" will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. Or, place it in a quart-size freezer bag and freeze for later.
- Soup freezes great!
- Makes 12 servings, 1.5 cups each