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Thick&hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

Step 3: Set up spices, broth and tomatoes

Now add your canned tomatoes, liquid and all. I like to get the tomatoes that already have herbs in them (coincidentally they have the fewest additives, at least of the brands I have available to choose from),

If you are going to use pickling spice, which I highly recommend if you have it available, make it into a packet. It adds a wonderful flavor, since there is so much good stuff in it, but it is rather unpleasant to come across the large pieces when you are trying to eat the finished product. A fill-your-own loose leaf tea back or some cheesecloth would both work fine I am sure. I used a coffee filter and some kitchen twine.

If you do go the coffee filter method, I would recommend doubling up. I only used one and once it got wet I realized it was more delicate than I anticipated. Mine did not burst but I felt I had to be more careful stirring than I would have otherwise.

I also added a generous pinch of a dried Italian herb mix (not pictured).

This is also the time to add any liquid broth enhancers if you are going to use any. I added 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire (1/8 cup if your measuring cup is that detailed), 1/4 cup merlot and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar.

Do not add any other liquid at this time!
 
 
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