Caritas' Hearty Soup for 450

Although chef Velda Melendez usually doesn't know just what ingredients she'll have to put in her 40-gallon soup kettle, this was the recipe she made one day I visited the kitchen. Caritas' communications associate, Sunny Kim, says they get compliments on the soup from the clients. It's easy to see why.

30 lbs. ground beef

10 lbs. onions, peeled and chopped

3 heads garlic, peeled and chopped

2 bunches celery, chopped

6 heads cabbage, chopped

8 bunches broccoli, chopped

6 bunches spring onions, chopped

9 lbs. carrots, peeled and chopped

3 cans kidney beans

1 No. 10 can tomatoes

1 jar Knorr concentrated beef base

8 lbs. rice

4 lbs. pasta

2 lbs. couscous

Bay leaves, thyme, oregano, and marjoram, to taste

Salt and pepper blend, to taste

Brown the meat well along with the onions, spices, and herbs, and then drain off all the fat. Add the other ingredients and enough water to cover, then simmer until done, stirring frequently. Correct seasonings and serve.

  • More of the Story

  • Iron Chef

    By the time Caritas' Velda Melendez finally realized that cooking could mean a career, she realized it also meant 450 lunches five days a week – and not just during the holidays
  • Contacting Caritas of Austin

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