I love soup. Love it. And I hate that it’s not as good during hot months. So as soon as it started to cool off, I jumped on making a pot. Well, OK, my friend Laura mentioned she had chicken and noodles (or was it chicken noodle soup? either way, YUM!) on the stove, so I decided soup sounded good. And I went with hamburger vegetable soup. There’s nothing better than hamburger veggie soup with homemade bread with peanut butter. Strangely, though, I ended up making bierocks to go with mine. Mainly because I wanted them long before the soup… That recipe for another post. I’m off topic. Focus!
Good tidings of comfort and joy.
This is one of those recipes that’s really flexible. Add whatever veggies you have on-hand. You only have to buy the stuff you really, really like in soup (for me in this soup it’s potatoes, corn, carrots and green beans). So add a little extra here, take out the stuff you don’t like, etc.
4 cloves of garlic
3 stalks of celery
handful of fresh green beans (or one can)
2 ears of corn (or 1 can, or part of a bag of frozen)
1 can of tomatoes (diced, stewed, whatever you want)
1 can of potatoes (or several fresh potatoes, boiled until almost done)
3 jalapenos (optional, and for spice only – you could also do red pepper flakes or sirachi sauce, I’ve used both in the past)
1 lb hamburger
4-5 small cans (about 25 oz) of vegetable juice, tomato juice or spicy V8
salt and pepper to taste
Cheese (Parmesean, Romano, Pepe Nero, etc.)
Alright so where do we start? Well, where I start with everything, naturally. Onions, garlic and oil. And when it comes to soup: carrots and celery. And bay leaves. And I also had a spare zucchini for some reason.
Chop up the base veggies.
I did a half an onion because I planned to cook my hamburger in the other half later. I think that’s two or three cloves of garlic, whatever I had left. One zucchini. Two or three carrots and stalks of celery. You know, until you think it’s enough, naturally.
I heat the oil then throw in the garlic and onions. And a few over-zealous carrots.
After that cooks for a bit I add the rest of those veggies and season with a little salt and pepper.
Meanwhile I realize I forgot my jalapenos! Sorry little guys. You always give everything a little zing. And I love some zing!
While that’s cooking I cut up a can of potatoes.
I’m all about fresh, but for some reason I have a problem over-cooking the rest of the veggies while under-cooking potatoes. So I either go for a can, or I’ll boil some fresh potatoes separately.
Add a can of tomatoes. Or two, if you like tomatoes. I jut did one.
Then I ran to the store to get some other stuff, and came back with green beans.
After you cut off the ends (which I forgot to do), cut into bite sized pieces. How many green beans? I grabbed a generous handful. You know, like boobs.
You can also use canned green beans., especially in months where you can’t get fresh.
And two ears of corn. (Or canned. Or frozen.)
Then add the potatoes and water and stir up.
The amount of water depends… I always do enough to cover all of the veggies. The later add in vegetable juice and spicy V8. You can also add beef bouillon cubes at this point. (But I never do. I’m always afraid of too much salt.)
And don’t forget your bay leaves. I added two. Then I let it all simmer and cook for about an hour. You can do whatever you want. I watched an episode of Bones. I love the hell out of that show.
Brown a pound of hamburger.
I always start with olive oil, garlic and onion. Then add in the hamburger and make sure to stir it enough to break it into smaller pieces.
This is where I start adding vegetable juice and spicy V8 (or you can do tomato juice).
I always have the little cans in my fridge. But you could get a big can, too. I generally add about four or five cans while cooking. And then when I put it in the fridge I like to add another 1/2 a can to my bowl I take for lunches because everything absorbs the liquid. And I’m a fan of soupy-soup. So, add as much as you want.
Then add the hamburger.
Then stir and let it simmer again.
Now here’s my weird thing. For some reason I feel like if already cooked hamburger cooks too long in soup it starts to taste dry. I’m not sure why or how that happens? But I usually only let my soup really simmer for about another 10-15 minutes. You can definitely leave this stuff on the stove all day at the lowest heat, but I avoid letting it cook too much more.
One last look before we dish it out! Remember to take out those bay leaves!
Ah, yes. DELICIOUS!
Top with fresh-grated cheese (or, you know, the not fresh grated stuff, or the stuff you get from Pizza Hut).
I love fresh Parmesan cheese on my hamburger veggie soup. But in this case I had some leftover Pepe Nero from the lasagna I’d made two weeks before. Yeah, I don’t know how long cheese lasts. But this stuff wasn’t moldy, yet, so I used it. It was a hard cheese, like Parmesan. And I think I actually liked it better than Parm. YUM!
Bake a loaf of bread and top with peanut butter. Perfecto!
Or, like I said, pair it with bierocks if you’re excited about Sundays, football and life!