During winter, a hearty soup can make for a nutritious meal. One recipe that has been in the family for some time is for Venus De Milo soup. The soup recipe really originated from the Venus De Milo Restaurant in Swansea, MA. It was well known for handling large functions, banquets and weddings. The soup was distinct for the time and folks always asked for the recipe. To the restaurants credit they did provide it freely. The recipe has probably continued to evolve as substitutions are made to cover for the availability of an ingredient or due to the whim of the cook. It really is a kitchen soup.
1 pound lean hamburger or ground turkey
1 large can chicken broth
1 quart water
1 envelope of onion soup mix
1 large can of crushed tomato (can also use tomato sauce, or whole tomato but cut up before adding)
1 regular package of frozen mixed vegetables (several options available, we usually get the ones without Lima beans)
1 small can mushrooms
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 cup orzo
If using the ground turkey, I use some of the onion to carmelize with some oil before adding the turkey. The turkey tends to be more watery than fatty and having some oil in the skillet or frying pan helps to brown it without burning it.
When the turkey is cooked, drain it before adding it to the broth and water in a large cooking pot (at least 10 quart). Add the remainder of the onion, the celery and all the remaining ingredients except for the orzo to the pot and bring it to a boil. As it begins to boil, reduce the heat to simmer and time it for about 20 minutes. Add the orzo, stir well, and time at simmer for another 20 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Let cool before refrigerating overnight.
The day after the soup is made, it is wonderful to have as a meal. We usually prepare a package of crescent rolls, or serve with crackers. Remove from refrigerator and heat, stirring frequently.
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