Recipes, Soup

Soup in July?

Normally, it would be absolutely insane to make Mo’s Hamburger Soup in July, but the outdoor thermometer read 63 degrees this morning. And my cold feet are telling me it is a good day for soup. So that’s what we’re having for supper tonight. Yes, supper. An evening meal of soup and cornbread is definitely supper. 

I grew up eating soup for lunch on Saturdays. It was a concoction of whatever leftover meat and vegetables Mom had in the refrigerator, fluffed up with chopped tomatoes, a generous portion of diced potatoes and seasonings.
A close friend told me recently how Winnie’s Saturday soup was one of her comfort memories. You know, those things that make us feel warm and loved as we look back. She and I spent lots of time at each others houses, which meant eating lots of meals together. One of my favorite memories involves Rotel Cheese Dip, Fritos and playing Dominoes with her dad on Saturday afternoons.



Mo’s recipe for Hamburger Soup is flexible

My mother didn’t have a formal recipe for her Saturday soup, but my mother-in-law did. I’m pretty sure it came from someone at her church. Whatever its origin, I’ve been making a variation of Hamburger Soup for lots of years. I say variation because like my mother, I use what I have on hand. Sometimes I start with leftover pot roast and gravy, which make a wonderful base for the soup. And I always substitute frozen vegetables for the canned. If I have okra, I throw in a little. 

Today, the meat is ground bison I found in the freezer. It has less fat than ground beef and works well in this recipe. When I realized I didn’t have a potato, I just added Lima beans and a few more green peas to the package of carrots, corn, green beans and green peas. (You can buy a blend of frozen soup veggies that includes potatoes, but I don’t keep it on hand because I prefer to use fresh potatoes.) 
Our soup is simmering on the stove as I write this. I thought I’d share the recipe just in case soup sounds good to you today. It doesn’t take long to make.


1 lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced raw potato
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
2 16-oz. cans chopped tomatoes
4 cups water
1 can beef consume
2 T beef bouillon
½ T salt
¼ tsp. basil, crushed
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp. thyme, crushed
¼ tsp. pepper
Simmer 30 minutes; then add:
7 oz. can gold whole kernel corn (undrained)
8 ½ oz can cut green beans (undrained)
8 ½ oz. can small early peas (undrained)
(Good with cornbread)
I’m sure we’ll be back to sweating next week, but tonight cornbread and soup will hit the spot! Did the cool snap affect your menu planning this week?
Next time, I think I’ll tell you about learning to make Mama’s cornbread. Even on hot summer days, purple hull peas call for cornbread. Don’t you love air conditioning?
…He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons;
he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
Acts 14:17b


Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2014. All rights reserved

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