Pepper Steak Soup

O'Charley's Copycat Recipe

Serves 2-4

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons diced red onion
1/3 cup diced green pepper
1/3 cup diced fresh celery
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups water
3 beef flavored bouillon cubes, or to taste
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 cup cooked potato pieces (microwaved or baked)
black pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
5 ounces cooked rib-eye steak (baked or fried), cut up
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Melt butter or margarine in a small stockpot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. When butter foams, add onions, green pepper and celery. Stir to coat. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften and brown. Add flour, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, stirring often. When flour smells "nutty" and is browned, add water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Add bouillon cubes. Stir until blended.

Add half-and-half, potatoes, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Add steak chunks; simmer 10 minutes. Mix cold water with cornstarch. Add to soup; cook to thicken. Mixture will be almost thick enough to eat with a fork, and salty from the bouillon cubes. (Do not add extra salt.)