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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hamburger Soup

This is a family favorite at my house. My mother-in-law used to make this for my husband when he was a kid. When I first met my Jeremy in college we used to go back to visit his family in Augusta, his mom would cook up a storm and she was an amazing southern cook! She doesn't cook much these days but she used to do wonders in the kitchen. I remember the first time Jeremy told me his mom was making us hamburger soup I thought, yuck that doesn't sound good to me. I had eaten vegetable beef soup but not with hamburger meat, that just did not seem appetizing, but it was great! Of course I have adapted it over the years to make it healthier but when I need something quick to make I can always throw together a pot of this crowd pleaser for my crew!

One special note about this soup, you can NOT mess it up, if you don't like some of the veggies I used, then use different ones, you can add a bit more or less of whatever veggies you like, make this one your own! Also this recipe calls for frozen veggies, I do not use canned vegetables (other than tomatoes), I rarely use frozen veggies in recipes I just like fresh best but for this one frozen are great, plus you don't have to worry about additives or preservatives that are in canned vegetables.

1 t olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1 large onion, diced
8-10 baby carrots, sliced
1 med-large potato, cubed (I usually use a baking but whatever you like is fine)
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 cartons of beef stock
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen green beans
1/2 cup frozen baby lima beans
1 large can petite diced tomatoes
salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder to taste

Additional toppings : hot sauce & cheese & elbow macaroni

Heat your large soup pot over med high heat, add your olive oil, (if you use a non-stick pan, you can leave out the oil, I use my stainless soup pot so I need to add it before, plus I like the flavor) add your ground beef, stir and break up so your ground beef is not in chunks, I like it to be in smaller pieces. Once the meat is browned add the onions, garlic, carrots and potatoes and stir to combine. Let cook together for about 5 minutes, stir at least once a minute. Turn the heat up to high and add 1 carton of stock. Scrape the bits of meat and veggies off the bottom of your pan then add the remaining stock. Bring to a boil then turn it to medium-low and let cook for about 30 minutes. Once the potatoes are soft then add your tomatoes, corn, peas, green beans, lima beans. Stir and let it cook for at least 10 more minutes or as long as you like. This is where the seasoning comes in, you have to taste this to get it right. Add some salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder, a few shakes of each then stir and give it a minute to melt into the soup then taste again, sometimes I have to adjust and add more for what tastes good to me.

My Jeremy and my kids like to put about a 1/2 cup of elbow macaroni in the bottom of their bowl then put a  piece of fake cheese (that's what I call slices of individually wrapped American) on top of it and let it melt a bit to make it cheeseburger soup! When my kids were babies I would make this all the time and pour off the juice and they could sit in their high chair with a mess of soft veggies and some soft noodles. They loved it! I would even freeze it in little cups so I could pull it out when as needed.

Here is a picture of my daughter's bowl...

Here is a picture of mine I love to add a few shakes of Texas Pete's sauce for a kick!

Weight Watcher friends: This recipe as I made it has 3 points per cup serving. Which makes this a rock star dish for a Weight Watcher! Have two cups for 6 points and add a slice of cheese for a filling dinner for 7 points.

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