Plant Sale Soup

A hearty hamburger soup recipe with beans, vegetables and pasta, great for feeding a crowd.

Plant Sale Soup

Do farmers and home vegetable gardeners feel as proud picking fresh corn and tomatoes from their gardens as I do snipping herbs from pots?

Lucky for home cooks, fresh herbs are sold year-round in grocery stores, convenient albeit expensive.

But now’s the perfect time to plant a few herbs in sunny spots, either in the ground or in pots.

From now through frost, you too can experience a primal pleasure when crafting a salad, seasoning a vegetable or brightening a pasta dish.

Just step outside with scissors to harvest bits of heady rosemary or earthy sage or lively chive, all flavor and no calories.

I keep big pots of the ever-reliable chive, rosemary, parsley and mint. After that, it’s what catches my imagination: enough basil for salads though not pesto; tarragon and dill for fish; oregano and thyme for meat rubs; fragrant lavender; even catnip for the neighborhood cat.

Many thanks to Kirkwood reader and my neighbor Jane Smith for sharing her soup recipe, the one she makes for volunteers at the annual herb sale for the Webster Groves Herb Society.

Updates: In 2008, I issued a friendly challenge, Never Buy Fresh Herbs Again. This post shares many tips, all from personal experience, for growing fresh herbs in pots, in the ground, even in apartments. In 2010, I missed the window for putting in fresh herbs, wow, did I ever miss them and wow, was it ever expensive to buy fresh herbs all summer long, especially knowing how lovely it is to just step outside and snip off a few fresh herbs. I'll never let that happen again!

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. What herbs are favorites in your home? Share a recipe via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. "Like" Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

READER RECIPE:
PLANT SALE SOUP

Hearty and heart-warming fare
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 55 minutes
Makes 12 cups
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 16 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 15 ounces canned kidney beans, rinsed
  • 3 cups water (two cansful)
  • 5 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 2 cups (6oz or 170g) chopped cabbage
  • 8 ounces (225g) frozen cut green beans
  • 1/2 cup (2oz or 56g) small pasta
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Brown meat in large, heavy kettle. Drain fat (see ALANNA’s TIPS). Add garlic, parsley, herbs (see TIPS), salt and pepper; cook for 2-3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except cabbage, green beans and macaroni. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Add cabbage, green beans and macaroni. Return to a boil, simmer until vegetables are tender and pasta cooked, about 10 minutes.

To serve, top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

ALANNA's TIPS To remove virtually all the fat, rinse the cooked meat in hot water. For extra flavor, use a mild or spicy pork sausage rather than ground beef. Release the fragrance and flavor of dried herbs by rubbing them between your fingers before adding to dishes. Twelve cups is a LOT of soup - make sure your pot is big enough or use two. I start off with one Dutch oven, then split the soup in two before adding the cabbage, green beans and pasta. This soup freezes well.
NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Cup: 158 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 21g Carb; 5g Fiber; 598mg Sodium; 25mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 2.5 points

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© Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade





Sounds healthy & yummy ! This is a hearty meal in itself.

5/01/2006
 
We loved this soup! It's so homey and comforting and hearty and delicious. Thanks for the recipe!
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna