Welcome to March's  edition of  SECOND FRIDAY RECIPE. On the second Friday of each month, (I'm running a day late since I have a miserable head cold.) I've invited a fellow author to share a favorite recipe with us and maybe a little something about their latest book. This week Mary Ellis let's us in on one of her faves!

Take it away Mary..

Readers, here is my favorite recipe given to me by my mother. Her version has a Hungarian flare (hence the kohlrabi and parsley root), but depending on your ethnic heritage or your area of the country, feel free to substitute vegetables, cuts of meat, or the final accompaniments. For instance, the characters in my latest novel, The Last Heiress, live in North Carolina, so they might have used okra and diced turnips instead of kohlrabi and parsley root, and of course, rice instead of dumplings. Be creative—use what you find on sale at the produce stand. And most of all, have fun.

Beef Vegetable Soup

5 qts. water
1 ½ lb. cubes round steak
4-6 large chopped carrots
4 stalks chopped celery
1 chopped onion
4-6 chopped peeled potatoes
1 chopped kohlrabi
1 chopped parsley root including tops
salt 2 Tbsp,
pepper & Hungarian paprika, start with ½ tsp, then add to taste

Bring water and meat to a boil. Skim off any fat or foam from surface.
Add seasonings and simmer for 1 hour.
Add all vegetables and simmer (not boil) for 2 hours or more.
Serve with dumplings (like the Hungarians) or noodles or rice.
Note: after meat is brought to a boil and skimmed, soup may be cooked in crockpot on high.

 The Last Heiress is a stand-alone historical romance, also set during the American Civil War. My heroine, Amanda Dunn is heir to the largest textile mill in Manchester, England. When the blockade of southern ports curtails the supply of cotton, her father sends her to Wilmington to restore trade. Her estranged twin sister, Abigail, eloped at 17 with an American cotton factor, and also lives in Wilmington. When Amanda falls for a local shopkeeper, class distinction, political loyalties, and family obligations guarantee a turbulent romance.

Mary Ellis has written twelve bestselling novels set in the Amish community and recently completed several historical romances set during the Civil War. The Last Heiress is her latest release. She is currently working on a new mystery series, Secrets of the South, for Harvest House Publishers. Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. Her debut book was nominated for a 2010 Carol Award. Living in Harmony, won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction while Love Comes to Paradise won the 2013 Lime Award. She can be found on the web at: or!/pages/Mary-Ellis/126995058236

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