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