2 cups fresh sliced, or 1 can of mushrooms drained well,
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery with leaves, finely diced (I just slice the ends of the stalks, especially if the branched parts are still there)
1 med bell (red or green) pepper, finely diced
2 small carrots, grated,
1 large can (19 oz) diced tomatoes, , drained
2 can tomato soup
1 can mushroom soup
1 can (5 oz) tomato paste
1 tsp crushed red pepper, (kind of spicey, try ½ tsp.)
2 Bay leaves,
½ to 1 tsp. anise seed,
½ to ¾ tsp celery seed,
1 to 3 tbsp premixed Italian seasoning, (or 2 tbs. basil leaves, fresh preferred
1 tbs. oregano, dried and fresh 1 tbs. fresh parsley)
1 tsp oregano leaves,
½ tsp coriander seeds crushed
Fresh ground black pepper, lots
How to make it
About 6 hours before eating, combine all of the can goods and spices into a slow cooker, set on low, except the bay leaves.
Meanwhile, sauté the onions, celery, bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots and garlic until the onions have caramelized. (For a stronger garlic flavour, add the minced garlic when adding the ground beef into the pot. )
Stir for 10 to 15 minutes, and add to the crock pot.
Then, stick blend the whole lot in the crockpot.
Add the bay leaves.
Two to three hours before serving the meal, brown the ground beef and drain off the fat. Then, add the broken up browned ground beef (and the minced garlic) to the slow cooker. Mix in well.
(I don’t like the ground beef to be over-cooked, this is why I add it when I do.)