Quick, easy, and exploding with flavor, this Gluten-Free Stuffed Pepper Soup might be better than Stuffed Peppers themselves!
What is it about soup that is so nostalgic? Seriously, take a second and think about the warm, comforting food memories you have. Did at least one of them involve soup? If you grew up or live anywhere where the temperature consistently gets below 45 degrees for a portion of the year, chances are the answer is a big, fat YES!
This stuffed pepper soup? It is so full of nostalgia for me. It lands be straight back in the middle of my dad’s bakery, standing next to one of my favorite people.
Don’t get TOO excited (and don’t worry dad!) – I’m not sharing any of the bakery/cafe’s top secret recipes. BUT let me just say that this recipe could definitely be sold in a cafe or restaurant and would keep people coming back day after day after day. Guaranteed.
Now before you go thinking I’m just sitting over here tooting my own horn (I can make a mean soup but this is something else!) it must be said that this recipe is not mine. It comes from Mary Ann, one of the the sweetest women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Mary Ann worked at my dad’s bakery for years and years before she retired, and, now that I think of it, I believe she was even with us since day 1 (or very shortly thereafter)! She was by far my favorite person to work beside, and I think everyone else that worked with her would definitely said the same.
As you can imagine, the week leading up to Thanksgiving in a bread bakery is absolutely INSANE. There are hundreds and hundreds of orders to be filled, and bread is being made literally around the clock.
Mary Ann, being the thoughtful and nurturing woman that she was, would always bring in a big pot of this delicious soup during that nutso week — that she would go home and make after a long shift, mind you! — to help keep everyone’s bellies full and spirits high.
And woooo boy did it do the trick!
Despite all the madness and long hours, I think people actually looked forward to Thanksgiving week, just because of Mary Ann’s stuffed pepper soup (and her killer breakfast casserole, but that’s another recipe for another day!) I know I did!
Thankfully, one year she passed the recipe on to me, so I didn’t have to wait ALL YEAR for another taste of peppery heaven. I to this day, I can’t thank her enough.
Like many of my other Souper Sunday soups, this one is also pretty darn easy to make, and almost impossible to screw up. The hardest part is browning the ground beef, which, is browning ground beef. Easy peasy.
And, and, and! Just like Avgolemono soup, it uses leftover rice! I love any chance I get to use leftovers in a new creative way.
….so much so that I may have gotten a little overly excited about using said leftovers and may have accidently doubled the amount of rice called for in the recipe. WHOOPS! But you know what? It was totally a happy accident. Anthony RAVED about how hearty and filling this soup was, and how it was almost more of a stuffed pepper chili or stew than a soup – in a GOOD way – thanks to the extra rice.
Oddly enough, I think the extra rice actually enhanced the flavor of the soup — more rice to soak up those rich flavors! — instead of taking away from it. Double win! If you’re watching your rice intake (I hear some people do that?!) or want to experience the original in true form, just use 1 cup of rice in the recipe instead of 2. As for me, I say bring on the extra rice!
On the gluten-free front, there is onnnnne tiny ingredient that can be a toughie when it comes to making this soup gluten-free: beef bouillon cubes. As you may know, most bouillon cubes contain gluten (harumpf) and it can be surprisingly hard to find them gluten-free. (NOTE: when you DO find a gluten-free version, buy up the whole lot!) In my case, I just couldn’t seem to get my hands on any easily, but I did have some Beefy Onion soup mix on hand that I used in the bouillon’s place. And it worked like a charm! Just make sure whatever you use is 100% gluten-free. Soup bases and bouillons can be a sneaaaaky source of gluten.
I wish I could eat this soup every day with Mary Ann by my side, but for now, I’ll just bask in the Stuffed Pepper Soup gloriousness. Join me, won’t you?
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 cup chopped green pepper
- 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 1 gluten-free beef bouillon cube
- 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 cup water
- Brown ground beef with green pepper in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Drain fat completely from ground beef.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot.
- Bring to a boil, and then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Simmer covered for 30-40 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley, if desired, and enjoy!
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