Hamburger Soup

Mid August has descended upon Calgary, and so has cooler weather. It was a whopping 9C today. 34C a week or so ago, and 9C today. I was messaging with someone today and they mentioned that there was snow in Alberta last week – wasn’t sure where, exactly, but the rumour is out there.

Given the overall temperature and greyness of the day, as well as the very enthusiastic wind all day, I decided early on it was going to be a soup day.

I decided on hamburger soup, just because we don’t often have it – so it’s been a while. I tried really hard to make little enough that there would be few leftovers…..I failed. Suffice it to say, this will feed your family, unless there’s 10 of you. πŸ™‚

This will serve 4-6 people, depending on appetite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped – I use the precut ones from Costco, so if you’re using actual celery on the root, it’s probably more like 2-3 stalks
  • 6 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 28oz can of tomatoes, chopped, whole, pureed – whatever you have will work
  • 1 28oz can of water or beef broth – I filled the tomato can with water and and left it at that but you could add bouillon to ramp up the flavour
  • 4 potatoes – I used 2 massive potatoes
  • 1 heaped TB of tomato paste
  • whatever spices you like…..thyme, a couple bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, marjoram, oregano, basil – any will work – I used a tablespoon of steak spice – turned out to be really good
  • you could also add: mushrooms, bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini

Brown your ground beef in a big soup pot. I, as usual, used my cast iron dutch oven. I need another one in a different colour so people will know I do have other pots.

When the beef is nearly cooked, add the onions and let them soften a bit. Once the beef is fully done, add the garlic and stir it around until it’s fragrant – don’t burn it. πŸ™‚

Add the celery and let it soften a little bit, then add the carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, water (or broth) and tomato paste. Stir well, pop the lid on and let it simmer on low as long as you can. Mine cooked for an hour and a half and it was happy, happy.

Give your soup a taste about 15 minutes before you’re going to serve and adjust for seasoning if needed.

If you’re cooking in a cast iron pot, turn off the heat and give it a few minutes before you serve or everyone will have a burnt tongue and won’t be able to taste your masterpiece – and that would be a shame.

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