Fixing a healthy, homemade, satisfying meal at the end of the day is often a challenge for me. That said, I do like to eat and everyone in our household has put in long day on the farm, and we are hungry.
I often hear that soups are easy to prepare. Yet I remain intimidated by them. I recently decided that it is time I master a few easy ones that I can put together in little time, using what I have on hand, and make everybody happy, including me.
So, the other night, I threw this soup together. I had done no planning beforehand other than thawing 2 pounds of Franklin Farm ground beef that day. The kitchen was not well stocked as it was the end of the grocery shopping cycle. So I used what I found in the refrigerator and the cupboards. The soup was a hit with all of us. The fennel and tomato gave it an Italian flavor. I think kids would like it with pasta included. You could make it Mexican by using cumin, chili powder, oregano and beans of your choice. Next time I will try different veggies. Using vegetable broth instead of tomato puree would be good or maybe corn and potatoes for a Shepherd’s Pie Soup.
I loved that it was all done in one pot!
Ingredients for Franklin Farm Hamburger Soup:
2 pounds of Franklin Farm Ground beef. Note: Franklin Farm ground beef is very lean. I did not have to drain off any fat. The soup was not greasy. If you use other hamburger, you will probably want to remove the excess fat after browning the meat.
3 T. olive oil or vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
A small package of baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
A half a dozen organic carrots, washed and sliced
An orange bell pepper, chopped (In the fall when they are abundant and less expensive I buy extra and chop them and freeze them in Ziploc bags)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Celery seed
1 tsp Fennel seed
1 tsp of salt
Black pepper to taste
A 14 oz. can of tomato puree or diced tomatoes
One 12 oz. can of cannellini beans
One half cup white rice
In a heavy 4-6 qtr. pot ( I used my grandmother’s Dutch oven) sauté the chopped onions in olive oil till they become tender, add sliced mushrooms, crushed garlic cloves, celery seed, fennel seed, and hamburger. Stir often till burger is all browned. Add 3 quarts of water, salt, pepper, bay leaves, carrots, canned tomato puree, beans, and rice. I let the soup simmer for between 45 minutes and an hour. I served it with slices of French sourdough bread. It was a hit with the family!
I’d love to hear what you think of the soup and how you changed it depending on your tastes and your available ingredients.
Next time I will be filling you in on how the 2019 Maple Sugaring Season’s preparations are coming along! Spring is not far off.
Till then, may you and those you love be happy, healthy, and safe.
P.S. Also, we have a beef special going on — 30 pound boxes for $150. That is a savings of $2/lbs! Please call first before coming out to the store. David: 802-451-9202, John: 802-451-9205 or Mary Ellen:802-451-9206