When I was a kid, I always knew that cold weather was around the corner when my mom made this soup. It wasn’t an immediate favorite as a kid, weird, I know, but then we started dipping in tortilla chips instead of saltine crackers and it quickly became one of my favorite’s. I’m pretty sure my palate has matured as I have grown older. Perhaps by the time I’m 72 I might actually appreciate caviar.
….Never mind. I’ve never tasted caviar.
The flavors in this soup epitomize the essence of Fall. Earthy carrots, soft celery, loads of ground beef, all in a refreshing creamy tomato base. Why does that scream Fall? I have no idea. But it does. Especially when you add the Brown Sugar Whole Wheat Muffins. Every time I make this soup, I have to make the muffins. They belong together, like Tom & Jerry, Fred and Ginger, Chocolate and strawberries, and Grilled cheese and ketchup.
Wait, grilled cheese and ketchup? Maybe that’s only something my family does. Try it, I dare you. You won’t go back. Promise. I’ve seen it happen before.
This soup calls for a chopped onion and I’ve included a picture to help you start chopping an onion most efficiently. First you slice off the ends of the onion (see how the top and bottom are off in the first picture?). Then you stand the onion on one flat end and slice it vertically down the middle (see first photo). After that you can easily peel off the outer layer without investing too much time in the process. Once that outer layer is off, lay the onion halves flat side down on the cutting board. Slice 1/8-1/4 inch wide slices with the grain of the onion. Basically, follow the onions lines and slice with them. Then turn the onion 180 degrees and slice perpendicular to the first slices to dice it. As you’re cutting the pieces will start falling apart and be perfectly diced.
Add everything into the pot with the browned hamburger and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes, or until the celery is tender.
My favorite way of consumption is with a generous handful of cheese atop the soup, a pile of my favorite tortilla chips on the side to dip, and a muffin with butter for in between bites. It truly is delicious, homey, perfect-for-a-cloudy-chilly-day, type of comfort food.
- 1 ½ lb. ground beef
- 1, 46 oz. can tomato juice
- 3 cups water
- 2 cans cream of celery soup
- 3 carrots, grated
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar
- ½ tsp. garlic salt
- ¼ tsp. marjoram
- ⅛ tsp. pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- Sauté beef and onions together until beef is browned. Drain off fat if desired.
- Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot.
- Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.