So…the other day I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I saw something caught my eye. Mandi from one of my favorite cooking blogs had posted a picture of Hamburger Vegetable Soup aka School Soup and my mouth watered instantly. So of course i pinned it and planned on cooking it the very next night. It was not so much as a conscious choice as it was a compulsion. An innate need to have THAT very soup cooking in my soup pot. On my stove. It had to be done. Now, with strong feelings like that about a soup one would think that this must have been a favorite soup as a childhood. Not so much. l went to a Catholic school until 8th grade and we never had school soup. Mandi says this was a popular soup among poor schools in the rural communities. So maybe that’s why. None the less, I had greatly missed out on such deliciousness until my early 20’s. When I was in college, I worked at a country day care near Shreveport. And the owner, Mrs. Liz, would make this soup on a weekly basis. Those kids from 1-12 LOVED that soup. And I about died and went to heaven when I tried it. It certainly became one of my favorites. At the time, I enjoyed cooking, but not like I do now and I never asked her for the recipe. She was a precious spit fire of a woman and I wish I had. Then I saw Mandi’s post and all was right with the world again. Finally, I could reunite with my soup and introduce it to my husband and kiddos. So I did. And we lived happily ever after. A friend of mine tried it a few days ago and she kept sending me texts about this soup. Pretty sure she has fallen hard. Trust me, you will not be disappointed and once the fall really gets here (in November…it will be a valuable go to recipe for us all).
1 lb. lean ground beef (90/10 or better)
1 small onion, diced
good ole salt and pepper to taste
2 cans mixed vegetables (I used Veg-All), undrained
1 can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can water
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
5 beef boullion cubes
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
Brown ground beef with onion, salt and pepper in a Dutch oven or soup pot until the beef is cooked through. Do not drain. I know this seems wrong, goes against everything you have been taught, but for this recipe, it is necessary. You need the fat and flavor and since it is lean ground beef, it’s cool.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer over medium low heat for one hour. Remove from heat and allow soup to rest for 30 minutes before serving.