Naming this soup was the easiest part and the rest was just as easy! (That didn’t really make sense but is what I wanted to say.) The name was obvious because of the roasted red peppers, the chopped spinach with the rice background and the holiday season. Also, this is more of a stew or even a casserole cooked in a soup pot. The only difficult part is making sure you have Ajvar on hand. It is a pate’ of roasted eggplant and sweet peppers and is imported. Mine comes from Macedonia and I sell it in my retail booth at Old Clarkesville Mill. The rice was cooked a bit differently than I usually do just because I wanted to try something different. It worked fine, not sure of the flavor difference.
Ingredients:2 cups of dry rice
1 stick butter
1 23 oz jar of hot Ajvar
10 beef bouillon cubes
1 frozen package chopped spinach, cooked
1 – 1 1/2 lbs browned ground beef (already browned with chopped onions and minced garlic earlier and frozen)
salt and Vegeta
Prepare the rice first by melting the stick of butter in a large soup pot and adding dry rice and salt. Stir until rice slightly browns. Pour in the whole jar of Ajvar and stir. Add 6 cups of water and bouillon cubes and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve cubes then cover pot, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. While this is cooking, cook spinach in 2 cups water and thaw ground beef (or brown it with a chopped onion and garlic). [You now have two or three burners going at the same time. Woohoo, look at you, Chef!] The spinach should be done in about 10 minutes. When the rice is cooked add the spinach and browned beef. Stir and season with Vegeta (a European seasoning somewhat like Mrs. Dash). Add water if desired to make a more soupy. Sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese on top.
I made bread to go with this tonight. It has been forever since I made Baron Bread. While the rice and spinach are cooking, mix 3 heaping cups of self-rising flour, 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 beer. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Melt 1/2 stick of margarine (butter can be used but margarine seems to work better) and pour over bread dough. Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.