As I write this post, it is a stormy day on Prince Edward Island with high winds and lots of snow – brrrrrrrrrr. Most of the Island is shut down, including the Confederation Bridge which links us to the mainland in New Brunswick. Roads are filling in as soon as the plows clear them. It’s a stay-at-home day, for sure. Stormy days always put me in the mood for good old-fashioned homemade soup — dinner in a pot and it smells sooooo good simmering away on the stove.
This is the recipe I have been using for years for hamburger soup. It is very mildly seasoned so the taste of the vegetables comes through. This is a true comfort food soup. Like any soups, if you don’t care for a particular vegetable omit it and replace it with one you do like.
I make this soup and freeze it in individual containers to have ready for weekday lunches at work (it reheats well in the microwave). For this reason, I don’t use potato in this soup because I don’t find potatoes freeze well (they tend to go grainy and mushy). If you are planning to eat this soup as soon as it is made, then potatoes may be added. For the freezer version, I replace the potatoes with a pasta – today it was macaroni I used.
1-2 tbsp oil
1 lb extra-lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
¾ cup diced celery
⅔ cup diced turnip
¼ cup diced green pepper
1¾ cups diced carrots (about 3 medium-sized)
½ cup diced parsnip
¼ tsp garlic powder or garlic salt
1½ tsp dried basil
1½ tsp dried parsley
6 whole allspice
¼ – ½ tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
6 cups beef stock
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 – 19 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1 – 10 oz can mushrooms, drained
20 oz. tomato soup
1 large bayleaf
1 tsp sugar
¼ cup long-grain rice
½ cup diced zucchini (with peel)
1 cup raw macaroni
Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a spoon. Fry beef for about 4-5 minutes or until beef is no longer pink.
Drain off, and discard, excess liquid.
Add onion, celery, turnip, green pepper, carrots, and parsnip. Cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add garlic powder or salt, basil, parsley, whole allspice, salt and pepper. Stir and sauté for 6-8 minutes.
Add beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, mushrooms, tomato soup, bay leaf, and sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
Add rice and zucchini and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Lastly, add the macaroni and simmer for an additional 10-12 minutes until the macaroni is cooked.
Remove and discard whole allspice and bayleaf.
Ladle soup into bowls and serve with baguette slices, crusty rolls, or crackers.
Yield: 10-12 servings
My featured Island product in this recipe was ground beef from KJL Select Meats in Charlottetown, PEI.
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