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Hamburger Soup

UPDATE:  I posted this recipe a few years ago but have made a few changes for the better so I'm reposting.

My Dad is known to make the best soup.  I wish I could get his recipes but he doesn't use any, he just adds a little this and a little that and it always turns out so good.  I, on the other hand, need a recipe.  I also need to measure everything, otherwise, recipes just don't turn out for me.  It's not my Dads soup but it's delicious.  It's packed full of veggies and it's flavorful.  

It takes a while to prep everything but once the meat and onions are browned it all goes into the pot to cook for 45-60 minutes.

2 lbs. ground beef (chuck)
1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)

1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
1 cup sliced carrots (2 medium)
1 cup sliced zucchini (1 small)
1 cup chopped cabbage 
1 cup diced Yukon Gold potatoes, diced  (or new red potatoes)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder 
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. rubbed sage
1 1/2 tsp. Penzey's Old World Seasoning (*see note)

1 15-oz. can petite diced tomatoes (DON'T drain)
6 cups beef broth (**Have extra broth on hand to thin out soup if needed) 
1/4 cup pearl barley
bay leaf

In a large stockpot, brown the ground chuck and onion, stirring frequently to break it up, cook until browned. Drain well. Add the veggies and spices (except diced tomatoes) and sauté about 5 minutes to incorporate spices.  Then add diced tomatoes, broth, barley and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour or until the vegetables have softened.
*I usually don't like to make or share a recipe unless all the ingredients are easy to get at any grocery store. But, this recipe is adapted from Penzey Spice by cook Gloria Krysiak and it calls for Penzey's Old World Seasoning.  I do think this spice is worth using as it adds a lot of flavor.  Just look at all the spices in  OLD WORLD Seasoning - paprika, salt, sugar, celery, garlic, onion, black pepper, parsley, dill seed, caraway, turmeric, dill weed, bay leaf, marjoram, thyme, savory, basil and rosemary.  There are a lot of Penzey stores nation wide and online so it's not too hard to pick up a small jar!
**The leftovers might need some extra broth as it gets soaked up by the barley.

Serves: 10
Soup can be easily halved if you only need 5 servings.


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