I spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of recipe I wanted to bring you today. I wanted to step into 2016 with a recipe that will really resonate with you and set the tone for what direction we’re headed in this year, but I also wanted to honor New Year’s Day appropriately. Chris and I talked at length about what kind of post we wanted to start the year with. As we were bouncing ideas around, he started talking about this hamburger soup that he used to make on New Year’s Day before we got together. When he described this light-on-the-stomach, forgiving-of-your-indulgences “hangover soup,” I knew that we had to create a version that really said….us.
It’s been cold and rainy here the last few days, which made for a perfect time to start experimenting with soup. As I started pulling ingredients together, it occurred to me that my mom made something similar when I was a kid, only instead of potatoes, she used elbow macaroni. It was one of my favorite soups that she made, and we often had it for dinner with nothing more than bread and butter. It just didn’t need anything else with it – it really stood on its own.
Instead of the macaroni (I’m not sure how gluten-free pasta would hold up in soup yet), we used potatoes. The version of this soup that Chris used to make always had potatoes, so it worked for me. I added tomatoes, because I just LOVE diced tomatoes in any kind of beef-type soup. And, I snuck some other things in to add a bit more depth and robust flavor to the broth. I’ll tell you what…I had a hard time keeping a spoon out of it. It’s light enough that it would be easy to eat even if you partied hard till the ball dropped, but it’s hearty enough to help you chase away the cool weather blues. The best part? It’s super-quick to put together, but it tastes like you spent hours on it!
I took the opportunity while the soup was simmering and made some fresh gluten-free bread, too. After all, I can’t imagine this kind of soup without some bread and butter. It just wouldn’t seem right. Grilled cheese might be a bit too much for this soup, but bread and butter? Never! When it was all done, Chris and I decided that this soup may just become a new tradition for our New Year’s Day meal. What are your New Year’s Day traditions? Any family favorite recipes? We’d love to hear!
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 medium carrots
- 3 celery stalks (with the leaves)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 quarts beef broth
- 3 large yukon gold potatoes
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons chopped chives
- 2 bay leaves
- 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat.
- Peel and dice the carrot.
- Peel and dice the celery, reserving the leaves when you cut the tops off the stalks.
- Finely chop the celery leaves.
- Add the vegetables to the butter in the dutch oven. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste and let the mixture cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add the beef broth, stirring well to combine everything.
- Turn the temperature down to medium-low.
- Wash and dice the potatoes, then add them to the pot.
- Stir in the chives, garlic powder and onion powder, then add the bay leaves.
- Pour in the diced tomatoes, cover and simmer.
- Put the ground beef into a skillet and break it up. Season it with the Worcestershire sauce. Brown the ground beef completely and drain it.
- Add the drained ground beef to the soup and return the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.