This is my first blog about something that is not crochet, and it feels a little weird! Here we go....!
I love soups! It doesn't matter what time of year it is, I'm always game for soup. One of the great things about soup making is that it caters to my cooking style of "I don't really measure anything, I just throw it all in and see how it comes out." A fellow crocheter (and an amazing designer to boot), Zelna Olivier of Zooty Owl 's Crafty Blog (who also has a crochet-a-long going on right now on her blog that you should give a try. I'll post of pics of my squares soon!) mentioned making soup a day or two ago, and I can't quit thinking about Hamburger Soup! She said she had never heard of it before, and that doesn't surprise me. Until last year, I hadn't heard of it either. My friend, Carla, mentioned she was making it for dinner, and my curiosity was peaked! So I started scouring the internet for recipes. I tried a couple recipes at first, and then went off on my own and made my own version, tailoring it to my personal preferences. That's another great thing about making your own soup- you can adjust things to make it better for your tastes easily. I'm a person who loves onion, carrots, and green beans, so when I make soup, I usually have more of those than vegetables which I like but not as much as those others (like celery, tomatoes and potatoes). I rarely write things down like this when I make them (but perhaps I ought to), but today I tried to pay attention to what I was putting in so that I could share my "recipe" with those who had asked for it. Despite being made with hamburger, it's a fairly healthy soup with a lot of veggies. Also, I don't cook using salt and pepper. Foods have enough salt that occur naturally for my personal taste, and I'm just not huge on pepper. However, if you are a person who likes their salt and pepper, you'll want to add those according to taste when you make this.
My preferred method for soup cooking is my Crockpot. There is nothing like your whole house smelling of a yummy, slow cooking soup all day. I used my 4 quart Crockpot and it is full to about 1 inch below the rim- I'll keep an eye on it as it cooks and may possibly add some more broth to it later. However, this soup can also be made on your stove top in a soup pot if you need it to be done sooner than 4-6 hours. Simply combine the ingredients, bring it to a slow boil for about 5-10 minutes, and then let it simmer until the veggies are your desired texture. Also, there are a few vegetables that I used today that were canned. Fresh will work just as well (if not better), but I didn't have any fresh green beans today, and I rarely have fresh tomatoes. So I used what I had laying around, as I seem to be fighting a kidney infection, and I didn't feel up to leaving the house. In contrast if you'd rather use all canned veggies, I'm sure that would work too, you just probably won't need to cook it as long. This usually makes enough for us to have for dinner, and then we freeze the rest, giving us enough for another 2-3 meals. It freezes really well, and tastes so good when reheated. My soup smells yumtastic right now, I wish it was done cooking already! Let me know if you try it! Enjoy!
*Approx 2 lbs Ground beef- browned, drained, and RINSED (I run hot water over mine while it's in a colander)
* 1 1/2 - 2 White onion, chopped
* 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 cans green beans, drained
* 20 oz. petite diced tomatoes (I used ones that had garlic and onion in them)
* 24 oz garlic and herb flavored spaghetti sauce (most recipes call for just tomato sauce, which is okay too. However, I have found that using the spaghetti sauce gives it SO much more flavor! Another good substittion is low sodium V8 juice)
* About 6-8 small new, yellow fleshed potatoes- sliced and then halved
* 14 baby carrots (the ones I had today though were MONSTER baby carrots! I'm not sure I'd even consider them babies myself. You may want to add more)
* two stalks of celery, chopped
* 1 900ml box of no salt added beef broth
* 2-3 TBSP of Heinz 57 sauce
*2/3 - 1 Cup dry red wine (depending on your preference, I've made it both ways and I like it with about 2/3, but if you aren't using the 57 sauce, I'd go 1 Cup)
*1/2 - 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
* parsley (I usually chop up fresh stuff and put in, but I was out, so I just used dried flakes)
Combine all these together in your Crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5. I usually serve this with a crusty butter roll, and it makes a great meal (particularly in the Winter)! The recipe for the crusty butter roll , you ask? Here it is: 1. Drive to Safeway. 2. Buy crusty butter rolls from the bakery. 3. Eat and enjoy!