This soup is bitter sweet for me. Not in flavor, which is deep and hearty and totally spot on from what I remember as a kid, but this soup stirs up my emotional side. You see, hamburger soup was one of my mom’s signature dishes and probably the most vegetable rich meal my dad ever ate of hers. And well, it makes me miss them like crazy and wonder why I moved over 3,000 miles away.
It was also the source of a huge fight between me and my husband.
Yes, we fought over soup. Aren’t we the perfect couple.
Actually, the story’s a bit of a compliment to the soup and an unfortunate highlight into the wackoness of Lauren. You see, yesterday was a full day (never cool for a Friday)… I woke up, felt unusually inspired to cook before work, which rarely happens, and whipped up this baby in no time. Left to simmer for an hour or so, I sweetly reminded my husband to turn off the heat in a bit, and to please save me at least two bowls (jokingly, I thought.) 11 am rolls around, I’m on break and get a call from him telling me, quote “It’s the best soup I’ve ever had, ever!” Well, well, how nice. “Save me some,” I reminded him, only half-heartily worried – it did have a whole pound of ground beef in it – and who can eat a whole pound of ground beef in a few hours?
Apparently he can. ‘Cause when I came home – after driving on the 405, weaving in and out of traffic, going in and out of consciousness due to hunger – this single bowl was all I could scrape together to get a photo. Not gonna lie, I went quite ballistic on him. It’s funny now, as I write about it, I mean, it’s just soup. But, BUT! that’s not the point. All you ladies that ask your man to do something and they agree only to later claim Jason Borne syndrome when trying to recall the convo know what I’m talking about.
Really, I ought to be impressed, it’s quite a feat to eat an entire stock pot of soup.
So if you aren’t into sharing, I’d avoid this recipe. Or just double the batch – it freezes great!
Hamburger Soup with Vegetables
- 1 lb grass-fed ground beef (90% lean)
- 1 cup diced onion (about 1 large onion)
- 3/4 cup diced carrot (about 2 carrots)
- 3/4 cup diced red bell pepper (about 1/2 bell pepper)
- 8-10 okra sliced
- 4-5 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cup chicken stock
- 15 oz can tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp plus a pinch sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- Start by heating a medium-large stock pot over medium heat. Add the beef, onions, carrots, bell peppers, garlic, and seasonings. (everything but the bay leaves, okra, tomatoes and chicken stock)
- Cook until browned, stirring often, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Once the meat is browned and veggies sauteed, about 5-7 minutes, add the rest of the ingredients.
- Stir to incorporate and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 1-2 hours, with a lid slightly covering the pot. Stir occasionally.
- Enjoy with a grate of Parmesan cheese, or some hearty bread.