This recipe was not hard at all but you do have to leave lots of time to do it--it cooks for a total of 2 hours and 15 mins so start this one early. I did begin to follow a recipe for this, but made several changes...here's my version:
Pam cooking spray
1 lb. beef for stew, cut into 1" pieces (just get a cheap steak)
Beef broth (1 3/4 cups)
1/8 tsp. pepper
3 med carrots, cut into slices
2 med potatoes, cut into quarters (I used 4 small golden Idaho potatoes)
1/2 tomato, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. Ranch dressing
1/4 tsp. parsley
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
*Spray 6-qt. saucepan w/ cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat for 1 min. Add beef and garlic and cook until well browned, stirring often.
*Stir broth, pepper, and parsley into saucepot. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 1 hr. 30 mins.
*Add carrots and potatoes. Cover and cook 30 mins more, or until vegetables are tender.
*Add tomatoes and Ranch (this is my little secret; I add Ranch to flavor ANYTHING, plus it helps moisten the meats). Stir flour and water in cup and stir into saucepot. Cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens. ENJOY!! This is a manly soup that my husband loves, but has the veggies that I like. The nice thing about soups is that you can EXPERIMENT--add anything you that sounds good to you! You could substitute the carrots for green beans, add jalapenos or peppers, use sausage instead of beef, just try it out!