Pretty Odd Blog

Beef and Bean Vegetable Soup

It’s April and it’s snowing, so I think it’s the perfect time to fix a hearty soup! I have beef and bean veggie soup in my crockpot right now as part of my food prep for the week, and I know it will sustain me and warm my soul no matter what mother nature decides to throw at us.

As part of my weight loss plan over the last six weeks, I’ve been rotating between a few recipes, this one included. I like it because it is protein (beef), veggies, and carb (beans) all in one pot. It’s also filling and a reasonable amount of calories per serving.

This recipe is very forgiving as far as the veggies go. Just toss in what you like. However, I think the portabella mushrooms and the small jar of pizza sauce are key to giving the soup its robust flavor. In other words, I wouldn’t recommend leaving out those two ingredients.

The image provided is a glance at what you’ll need.

Not included in the picutre… An onion! (How could I forget the onion. Also a very key ingredient in almost every soup recipe known to man.)

To prepare this soup, simply brown the ground beef, chop up the veggies, and throw everything into the crockpot. The longer it cooks, the yummier it will be. I’m cooking mine on High for about 8 hours.

For those of you who aren’t big fans of the mushroom family (like me), the long cook also cooks down the mushrooms so you hardly know they’re there. You get the flavor boost without the weird appearance and texture of fungi.

I like to serve this soup with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. It complements the flavors nicely. (Cheese complements everything nicely, doesn’t it? Except for fish. Fish and cheese. Ew.)

Here’s the calorie breakdown:

4 servings = 530 calories per serving
5 servings = 422 calories per serving
6 servings = 353 calories per serving

When I divide up my servings, I use an unscientific method. I just line up my containers, ladle the soup in, and eyeball it until the serving sizes match. Works for me.

I hope this recipe works for you! Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Muffins


  • 1 2/3 cups Krusteaz Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • 1⁄3 cup sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1⁄2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package mini chocolate chips
  • 1⁄2 cup walnuts or 1⁄2 cup pecans, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Grease twelve muffin cups.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, stir together applesauce, milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla until blended.
  5. Make a well in center of dry ingredients.
  6. Add wet ingredients and stir just to combine.
  7. Stir in chocolate chips.
  8. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
About the Author

Jessica E. Thomas graduated summa cum laude with Academic Honors in Writing from Ball State University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in English and a Minor in Creative Writing. She began her professional career in marketing at a large Indianapolis law firm. Since transitioning to Information Technology in 2001, she has worked in the pharmaceutical, student loan, and finance industries as a computer programmer, systems analyst, Web developer, and technical writer. She has authored two novels, three novellas, a poetry collection, a short story collection, and a children’s book.