Winter put its icy grip on Edmonton’s throat today. The high is -20, the wind is blowing, and the dog still seems to expect two walks a day.
While on Dog Walk #1, I decided that today’s culinary project had better bring some warmth to this day.
My mom’s hamburger soup (which was itself based on the original Best of Bridge recipe) is the ultimate comfort food, the taste of home, a warm hug on a cold day. And that is not just the opinion of Margie’s eight children.
Today’s meal wasn’t really built around the “kitchen castoff” (though it did make a tiny dent in a sizeable package of pot barley of undetermined origin). Rather, this menu was more about making do with what we had on hand — and, given that we were overdue for a grocery trip, there wasn’t a whole lot to choose from.
My mom was cooking for 10, I am cooking for two, so I significantly decreased the quantities. Not sure if that was the reason, but my version of soup was a bit thicker than usual, close to the consistency of chili. I don’t use the tomato soup, recommended by both my mom and the Best of Bridge, but I do go a bit heavier on the beef stock. You could add some tomato paste, as well, if you are looking for a richer taste.
Kitchen castoffs used
Pot barley but also, the remainder of a bag of mini carrots, a handful of celery sticks left from a holiday veggie platter, and another container of frozen roasted tomatoes that we put down in the summer.
And, I hardly need to say it, but this soup gets even better on day two.
This is how we did it
- 1.5 pounds ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 sticks celery, chopped
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 28 oz can of tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups beef stock (but add more depending on the consistency you want)
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp thyme
- 8 tbsp pot barley
Brown the beef, then drain off the fat. Brown the onions and celery, then return beef to the pot. Combine all the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer at least two hours, or — better yet — the whole darn day.
About my 100 day project: 100 days of cooking, using forgotten or cast-off kitchen ingredients.
If you enjoyed this blog post, you might enjoy previous posts about my #100daysofcooking
What’s your favourite “with love from mom” recipe that you still make. Tell me about it in the comments!