Mom and Grandma’s Hamburger Soup

This is a classic go-to recipe for soup in my family. It adapts well to whatever you happen to have on hand. I’ve added green beans, a can of corn, mushrooms, cooked beans, for instance with great results.

Having the right kitchen equipment makes cooking a pleasure. I consider my 30 quart stockpot an essential item. This professional grade large stockpot is one I use often for soup, sauces, canning.

Mom and Grandma’s Hamburger Soup

½  to 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey or ½ pound ground sausage

1 cup each:

Chopped onion

Chunked potatoes

Thinly sliced carrots

Shredded cabbage

Sliced celery

32 ounce can chopped or diced tomatoes

3 cups water

2 tsp salt

¼ tsp dried basil

¼ tsp dried thyme

Bay leaf

Brown the ground beef and onion together until there is no pink in the ground beef. Drain off excess fat. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer one hour. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.

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Easy Sautéed Greens: Spinach, Kale or Swiss Chard

This is one of the best ways to sauté leafy green vegetables. It is easy and only takes a few minutes so this is a great recipe for weeknight dinners.

When it comes to nutrition, leafy greens are rock stars – they top the charts in vitamins A, C, E and K, potassium, and fiber with only 5 to 40 calories per cup. Greens also are a great source of folate which is necessary for DNA duplication and repair which protects against the development of cancer. They also contain various phytonutrients like lutein, beta-carotene, zeanthin. Because of their high content of antioxidants, green leafy vegetables may be one of the best cancer-preventing foods.

These sautéed greens make an excellent veggie side dish for lunch or dinner. It has become trendy to serve them at breakfast alongside poached eggs, whole grain toast and fruit; in a breakfast bowl with roasted cauliflower or roasted sweet potatoes, a cooked whole grain, a fried egg, sliced avocado and a sprinkle of seeds; or on a open-faced egg sandwich.

If you enjoyed this and want to try my other sautéed greens recipe that I paired with seared scallops, go here.

This serves 1 person generously.

10 ounces or about 4 cups greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, beet greens or chard, roughly chopped. I like to use a mix called Power greens (baby spinach, kale and chard)

¾ Tbsp. olive oil

1 large or 2 small garlic cloves crushed

A pinch or two of chili pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you want it

Salt and pepper

Good quality balsamic vinegar, to taste (see suggestions to purchase on Amazon below)

Heat a nonstick skillet on medium high for a minute. Add the oil, garlic and chili pepper flakes. Cook for a minute or two until the oil sizzles around the garlic and the garlic turns golden. Watch carefully, you don’t want the oil to burn.

Add the chopped greens and toss to coat with the oil. Continue to cook and toss until the greens are done to your liking. This only takes a few minutes. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. Toss and serve immediately.

A Note on Balsamic Vinegar

You will get what you pay for, for a good quality vinegar, you will pay a premium. Top-quality balsamic vinegar is labeled as aceto balsamico tradizionale, signifying that the traditional methods from Modena Italy have been used in processing and aging it.

As balsamic vinegar ages, moisture evaporates out, thickening the vinegar and concentrating the flavor. It is this aging process that makes true balsamic vinegar from Modena so expensive. Surprisingly, balsamic vinegar brings out the sweetness of fresh fruits such as strawberries.

Here are a few recommendations that I consider affordable and one that would be a fun splurge if I could afford it!

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Sweet Chili Sauce Shrimp

  Extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound) can be substituted for jumbo shrimp. If you use them, reduce the cooking time by 1 to 2 minutes.

16 oz pounds shell-on jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed, rinsed and patted dry

Salt and pepper

2 Tbs olive oil

5 cloves garlic minced

Sauce:

5 Tbs Sweet chili sauce

¾ tsp Sriracha sauce or 1 ½ tsp chili garlic sauce

1 ¾ Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp sugar

Combine the sweet chili sauce, sriracha or chili garlic sauce, lime juice and sugar in a small bowl.

Place the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper.

Cook for about a minute each side. Remove shrimp from the pan. Add the other tablespoon of oil. Sauté the garlic for one more minute. Add the sauce, stir to heat, add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are just opaque.

 

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