This creamy, rich slightly spicy soup with tons of vegetables is soo good and healthy for you, too!  I am sure you will love it, like we did.  Serve with chopped, fresh avocado and sour cream, if desired.

1 lb lean ground beef (0.45 kg)
1 tsp salt (5 mL)
1 tsp black pepper (5 mL)
2 tsp minced garlic (10 mL)
1 tsp dried oregano (5 mL)
1 tsp hot chili powder (5 mL)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (2 mL)
14.5 oz canned tomatoes (411 g)
8 oz cream cheese (250 g)
1/2 can tomato paste (90 g)
1 tbsp olive oil (15 mL0
1 lb sliced mushrooms (0.45 kg)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cups chicken, OR beef stock (1 L)
Optional Toppings:
Grated cheddar cheese
Chopped avocado
Sour cream

In large frying pan over medium heat, brown ground beef, breaking it up into really small bits.  Add water, if necessary, to help with the cooking process and to prevent the meat from burning.  Add salt, black pepper, minced garlic, oregano, chili powder and cumin as the ground beef is cooking.  Add tomatoes, cream cheese and tomato paste and cook until the cream cheese has melted and everything is a nice homogeneous mixture. 

In another frying pan, in olive oil and over medium heat, cook mushrooms until moisture evaporates.  Place in slow cooker along with red and green peppers.  Add meat mixture and stir in chicken, OR beef stock.  Set on high and cook about 5 hours, or until the peppers are sufficiently soft.  Serve with one or more of the optional toppings, if desired.

Helpful Hints:  If stock is the commercial variety, you will need to reduce the amount of salt in the recipe, or even leave it out, depending.  I use chicken stock even when it makes sense to use beef stock because I always have it on hand.  I make it from the leftover roast chicken bones in the slow cooker. Just cover with water and add salt, pepper, parsley, coasely chopped onion and a coarsely chopped carrot.  Cook on low or high and when ready strain and refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.  This stock is so healthy for one’s digestive tract.
Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
304.4 calories
19.0 g protein
320.7 g fat
2.6 g fiber
9.4 g net carbs  

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