Hamburger Soup

This is a soup I make about once a year, usually when my wife reminds me I should make it. It started its life as something I made from an old Pillsbury cookbook. I remember the first time I made it and was surprised it was good. Like any old cookbook it uses the products of the times when it was created. Canned stems and pieces mushrooms, beef consomme, and ground eye of round. Canned mushrooms were all you could get in grocery stores, now I can find at least a half dozen different fresh mushrooms in any store. Campbell’s beef consomme was again what was available, now you find very good beef broth in tetra packs. Butchers even in chain stores would grind any type of meat you wanted, now I use extra lean ground beef.

I actually looked at the old cookbook and realized I have made just about every recipe in it. Surprising part about looking at it was the good memories it held. Like everyone else I started cooking from cookbooks and made the recipes as written. There were a number of recipes that I make often that got there start from those cookbooks. Most I have modified so heavily that now there is a very small part of the original left. That is exactly how cooking should be, a modification of an original, changed to match your families taste.

Hamburger soup I haven’t changed much, just better products that are available. Garlic, fresh parsley, and Worcestershire sauce, and mustard powder are my additions that came in over the years. If you like beef barley soup you will like this because that is in reality what it is. Using the ground beef just makes it a lot quicker to make but the taste profile is the same.

This makes a large pot of soup, which is great. You can keep it in the fridge for two or three days. It freezes extremely well and you can keep it in the freezer for up to three months.

1 and 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Salt and pepper the beef and brown in a frying pan on medium high heat. Drain the beef extremely well, I drain it for 45 minutes.

1 large onion diced

3 carrots cut in half and chopped

2 large ribs celery chopped

1 cup chopped green beans, I used whole frozen green beans and chopped them myself

5 mushrooms sliced

1 can diced tomatoes

2 litres low sodium beef broth

1/2 cup pearl barley

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup chopped parsley

1 and 1/2 tablespoons butter

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat a soup pot on medium heat with the butter. Add onions, carrots, celery, green beans, mushrooms, and garlic powder. Cook for two minutes stirring often then add beef, beef broth, tomatoes, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, and pearl barley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for two hours. After an hour taste the soup and add salt and pepper to taste. When 15 minutes are left in cooking time add the parsley and mix well. Serve with your favourite buns, bread, or english muffins.

About Graham Stewart

This is me on a bad day.
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