Friday, September 4, 2015


I lived for 33 years in the Northeast, Connecticut to be exact.  We had 4 separate seasons, my favorite was Fall for it's warm days and cool nights, the smell of dew on the grass and wet leaves early in the morning, shorter days, warmer clothing, apple festivals and fairs, pumpkins, hot cocoa and soup.  Some of my best memories of being a young girl at home with my mom and family were of the soups she would throw together with "cheap ingredients".  Nothing was better then playing outside all day and coming in when the street lights went on to find soup bowls on the table.  She made soup out of leftovers rather than have them go to waste, money was carefully spent to assure that we had what we needed without excess.  Soups of every kind, ham and cabbage soup thick with carrots, onions and a salty ham broth was a favorite of mine.  Chicken noodle soup made with all the meat we didn't eat, for me that was the brown meat, but in a soup I loved it, carrots, celery, and noodles with lots of black pepper, we all loved it, sometimes there were even homemade drop biscuits on the side.  My favorite soup to come out of moms kitchen however was "Hamburger Soup".  I've heard it called poor mans soup, and even a few times depression soup, perhaps because it was made during the depression using just a bit of ground meat and lots of cheap "rice, pasta or potatoes".  My mom  always made her soup with a beef broth thickened with crushed canned tomatoes, sautéed ground beef with salt and pepper, onion, carrots, celery and frozen corn were always there along with elbow macaroni.  Mom always served that hot steaming soup with crusty french bread and butter on the side, I loved dipping it in to my soup and having some butter melt in to the soup with every dunk.  Every family has there own version or recipe for this traditional classic using their own list of ingredients and each person probably has their own memories of enjoying it at the dinner table.  I've been thinking a lot about that Hamburger Soup lately, I think it's my mom coming through and reminding me of my roots, reminding me to keep the things I love close to me and enjoy them whenever the need arises.  I may not live in Connecticut any longer and the seasons in California don't change like they did back East, but my taste for those Fall comfort foods will never leave me.  I can assure you that Hamburger Soup is on my mind and will be on my menu this week.  I'd share a recipe with you if I had one, but I do not,  I work from tasty memories and know that whatever I pull from that pot when it is finished will bring me right back to my family dinner table … because I have strong memories and dreams of soup!

1 comment:

  1. You can still have those comfort foods - my gram's poor man's soup - was potato soup because at times that was all they had. Its funny how you age you become more nostalgic-I'm finding that- I like it better than remembering things I did wrong and can't change. Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog posts and so glad they touched you :).