This soup is an easy and delicious way to use the smaller peppers that don’t lend themselves well to being stuffed. You can also finely chop kale or other greens and add them when sautéing the vegetables.


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef or turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery,  chopped
  • 2  carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs oregano
  • 1 1/2 Tbs chili powder (more or less to taste)
  • 16 ounces Italian style tomatoes, chopped
  • 26 ounces tomato-basil marinara sauce
  • 6-8 cups beef broth or stock
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup white or brown rice, cooked (optional)
  • Garnishes: green onions, shredded cheese (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in large saucepan until very hot. Add ground beef and cook, stirring, until browned and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Drain beef, saving one tablespoon of oil in pan.  Add chopped onion, peppers, celery, carrots and garlic and sauté until the vegetables start to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the ground beef back to the pot with the vegetables. Add oregano and chili powder. Cook 2 minutes, stirring once.
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, soy sauce and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 1 hour, and adjust the herbs, salt, pepper and brown sugar to taste.
  5. When ready to serve, stir the rice into pot. Serve in warmed soup bowls.
  6. If desired, you may add chopped green onions and cheese to top when serving.