A hearty, healthy and vegetable-laden winter soup that can be frozen into portions for last minute dinner preparation.


·       200g beef chuck stead, cut into cubes

·       2 cups dried soup mix

·       2 teaspoons canola oil

·       1 large brown onion, finely chopped

·       1 green capsicum, diced

·       2 zucchinis, diced

·       2 celery sticks, diced

·       125g mushrooms, diced

·       2 carrots, diced

·       1 large potato, diced

·       500g pumpkin, diced

·       1 litre vegetable stock

·       1 litre water

Put the soup mix in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to sit for 8 hours overnight.

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until browned.  Transfer to plate.

Heat remaining oil in pan and cook the onion until soft and lightly golden. Add the capsicum, zucchini, celery and mushrooms and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the carrot, potato, pumpkin and beef and stir to combine, and then pour in the stock and water.

Drain the soup mix and add to pan. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, partially cover the pan with the lid and simmer for 45minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Serve hot with wholegrain bread.

Melanie McGrice in the kitchen

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