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Rescued Recipes: Hamburger Soup from Jan D’Atri

November 9, 2010

Editor’s Note:  This is a guest post by Jan D’Atri

Hamburger soup, photo credit: Jan D'Atri

With all the soup I’ve made in my lifetime, why haven’t I made this one? Why had I never even heard of this recipe since it’s so easy and absolutely delicious?

Well, I’m making up for it now because Hamburger Soup is a new favorite for fall. Think of a thick, rich homemade chicken soup with rice instead of noodles and ground beef, turkey or pork sausage instead of chicken!

Remember last week I told you that I’ve been cooking out of the Bale of Treasures Cookbook lately? It was compiled years ago by the Casa Grande Valley Cotton and Agricultural Women’s Club and loaded with simple and satisfying recipes that were favorites of Arizona ranching and farming families. The Hamburger Soup recipe came from Christye Flanagan of the Yuma County Cotton Wives.

I had all the ingredients for the soup in my frig, freezer or panty (and you probably do, too) so I grabbed a big ol’ pot and started chopping. In about an hour I had a hearty and substantial soup ready to toss some croutons in to.

The recipe is delicious as is, but I kicked up the flavor even more by using hot Italian sausage in addition to ground beef  (equal amounts) and then threw in a pinch of red pepper for an added bright punch. I also left out the tomato juice and replaced it with chicken broth, since I wanted just the flavor of the broth, veggies and meat. I’ll make it with the tomato juice this week.

It’s a great “everything but the kitchen sink” type of recipe.

If it’s in the frig and you need to get rid of it…throw it in the Hamburger Soup!

(I did that with a leek and a leftover sweet yellow onion half)

When you scoop up a ladle of this soup and pour it into a bowl I think you’re going to have the same reaction I had. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

Hey Seinfeld. You’re in luck. This week it’s soup for you!

Cooking the soup. Photo Credit: Jan D'Atri

Hamburger Soup


1 pound ground beef (or half beef and half Italian sausage)

3 tablespoons olive oil or butter for sautéing

1 cup yellow onion, diced

1 cup carrots, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 cup leek, diced, optional

1 cup potatoes, peeled and diced

3 cups tomato juice

¼ cup rice, uncooked

3 cups water (or broth if omitting tomato juice)

1 teaspoon basil

½ teaspoon thyme

2 bay leaves

3 teaspoons salt

pinch of red pepper flakes


In a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté onions, carrots, celery, and leek in olive oil or butter until soft.

Add potatoes, ground beef and sausage. Cook until meat is browned. (Meat should be in small pieces.) Add rice, tomato juice, water or broth, basil, thyme and bay leaves. Cook for 1-2 hours. Add salt and red pepper flakes. Serve with croutons, crackers or bread and butter.

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