Hamburger Vegetable Soup

The animals are preparing for hibernation, the leaves are falling and so are the nights, sooner than we want.  It’s dark when we get up and it’s dark when we get home from work.

Any why?

Because Autumn is upon us and here in the UK, the clocks went back this past weekend.  In a way, I dislike this time of year because of the lack of sunlight in the morning but I do enjoy the crisp cool weather.  I like the idea of having to put on my Penn State or Eagles sweatshirt and maybe even a light scarf to go outside .

And during this time of year we all turn our eating to warming soups, stews and casseroles; in other words, comfort food.  There’s nothing better than coming in from the yard after raking leaves all day and sitting down to a nice bowl of chicken soup or a beef stew that’s been simmering in the slow cooker all day.

Fortunately, we’ve had some pretty mild weather here over the past few weeks; in fact this has been the warmest October in quite some time.  But even so, it’s still cool enough to have something warming.

So the big question was…what to do with the beef mince I took out of the freezer this morning?  Chili?  No, hubby usually makes that.  Cottage Pie?  No, didn’t want all those potatoes and couldn’t think of what I had to use as a substitute.

Then I remembered this hamburger veg soup that I made before from my Best of Amish Cooking cookbook. (see link in the sidebar under ‘My Cookbooks’) I made a note next to the recipe:  COMFORT FOOD!

Just what I was looking for!

It’s a very simple recipe to throw together…onions, beef mince, veggies, tomato juice and milk.  Brown the meat and onions, throw it all in a pan and let cook for about an hour, then add the milk with a bit of flour.  Stir and serve.  What could be easier than that?

Feel free to add any other veggies you might have.  I’ve listed the extra ones I added as optional.  I didn’t have any tomato juice so I took a can of plum tomatoes and blended them to a juice.  I also only use 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the milk as I think two cups is too much, but use what you wish.

~~HAMBURGER VEGETABLE SOUP~~

2 Tbsp butter or olive oil

1 lb. beef mince

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

1 tsp salt, or to taste

1 cup carrots, sliced

1/2 cup celery, chopped

2-3 mushrooms, sliced (optional)

5-6 fresh Brussels sprouts, quartered (optional)

1 cup potatoes, diced (I used swede)

2 cups tomato juice (if you use the blended tomatoes, make up the two cups with water)

1-2 cups milk

1/4 cup flour, plain or whole wheat

Brown the meat in butter or olive oil.

Remove with slotted spoon and add onion and garlic (if using).  Brown the onion and garlic for about 7 minutes until starting to soften.

Add in the meat along with the remaining ingredients except the milk and flour.

Give it a good stir to combine.  Cover and cook until veggies are tender; about an hour.

Combine the milk and flour and stir until smooth.  Add to soup and cook until thickened.

Serve.

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