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Simply put, I love food. I revel in everything about it: taste, texture, preparation, presentation, etc. The most favored aspect for me is the social aspect of food…learning to cook from one’s mother, preparing food with friends, grilling out, potlucks, dinner parties or simply meeting for dinner. I light up watching the people I love eat the food that I create. It still truly amazes me how food brings us together. So a little about me. Now in my early 30s, I’ve learned all I know about cooking from my mother and grandmothers. My Midwestern roots are definitely reflected in my cooking style and the recipes that I choose as I am very “meat and potatoes” centric and heavy handed with the butter sometimes. More later, but for now Happy Nomming!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Super Easy Cheeseburger Soup

There's something about fall and winter in Indiana that just makes me want to make soups, stews and chili.  It's likely the same thing that has curled up on the couch on Saturday mornings during these seasons with my hands wrapped around a hot coffee mug...it's freezing out! 

I try to steer clear of cream laden soups, for obvious reasons, but a little bit of cheese never hurt anyone (well except those that are lactose intolerant, in which case just make hamburger soup).

1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
1 medium onion, diced
4 cups water
1 cup celery, diced
1 large potato, diced
4 carrots, sliced
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon basil
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 can of crushed or diced tomatoes
½ cup quick cook barley, prepared
Shredded Cheese of choice

Brown beef in stock pot. Add diced onion and cook until onion is translucent. Add celery, potatoes and carrots.  Add pepper, basil thyme and bay leaf and toss to combine.  Cover with water and bring to a boil. Stir in tomatoes (including the juice).  Lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add cook barley and heat through. Approximately 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Top with cheese and serve with a crust loaf of bread or a side of fries.  

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