Friday, January 10, 2014

Pioneer Woman Hamburger Soup

Let me start by saying, Holy Moly it is freakin cold here!  I'm talking can't breathe when the wind hits you, icicles in the nostrils, negative temperatures, cold.  While Ohio is known for having up and down temperatures, you could be building a snowman one day and in a pair of shorts the next, I haven't seen this kind of weather so early in years.  I have to say, I'm not too fond of it.  Kind of like how I'm not too fond of 100 degree temperatures with humidity making it hotter than Hades in August.

Yes I know, I'm never satisfied but I'm just trying to be honest here.

We have had all kinds of sickness around our house.  The week before Christmas my little guy had a cold which led to 3 days of a fever and a horrible cough.  After we got back from visiting relatives over the holidays he started throwing up for 2 days, poor thing.  Then my husband got horrible diarrhea.  I'm sure he would love that I put that on the world wide web, haha.  I have been super fortunate that I have yet to catch any of it, instead I've been the one distributing meds, taking temps, cleaning toilets (so disgusting after sickness), washing 4 loads of sheets, towels, and other puked on things in one afternoon just to wake up the next day and have 2 more loads of more puked on things.  I can't imagine how many loads I'll have when there's 2 kids passing sickness back and forth.

I had to go out to the store yesterday to get my husband medicine and I couldn't even scrape off the windows it was so cold.  I had to let the car run for a good 10 minutes and then decided the store was at the end of my street and I could see well enough through the ice to make it without getting out to chisel away at it some more.  To beat it all I got our electric bill and it went up a whopping $100.  Did you know that a 2 bedroom townhouse apartment that's probably all of 900square feet uses more electricity to heat than a 2000 square foot house.  Yea it makes no sense to me either but it's a sad reality.  My mouth immediately hit the floor and I proceeded to make a beeline to the thermostat and turn it from 71 degrees down to 69.  Which probably will help zero because even with me turning it down it ran for, I swear, a solid 3 hours.  I'm really dreading our next bill.

Since I turned down the temp in the house it's a little chilly, which I know my husband will complain about but I just bundle up a little more, I was trying to figure out something to cook for dinner.  Something that would warm our insides, and of course I thought of soup.  The only problem being that I'm a once a month shopper now, we are at the end of our monthly menu cycle, and there are no soups left on the menu plan.  Which means my ingredients are a lot more limited and every recipe I looked at called for ingredients I didn't have.  Refusing to go to the store and buy any ingredients, I tossed the idea and decided we would have to settle for something else.

Then I got on Pioneer Woman's website and saw a hamburger soup recipe.  I read through it and thought I had all the ingredients and was super excited.  I've made hamburger veggie soup before but not like this recipe from Ree.  She didn't use tomato juice, which I don't have in my cabinets, and used different vegetables as well.

I wish I had a great picture to share.  Ok not a great picture since my food pictures are never "great", but I forgot when I first made it.  I'm chalkin my forgetfulness up to pregnancy brain.  After soup has sat for a little while, especially in the fridge, it no longer looks appetizing no matter how tasty it was.

I ended up having to change a couple things because once I got started I realized I didn't have some of the ingredients, go figure.  So instead of whole or diced tomatoes I ended up using half a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes.  I also wanted my soup to be a bit less like stew so I added in the extra 2 cups of water and 2tsp beef bullion granules for the broth.  I used regular russet potatoes instead of red ones because I never have red potatoes.  The only problem I found was I needed to cook the carrots a little more.  The potatoes were plenty soft so I guess next time I'll just make sure the carrots go in a few minutes before some of the softer veggies.  Over all though it was very tasty and is now in my soup rotation to make again.  There are so many ways you could change this soup to fit what you have in your pantry.  It would be a great end of the month soup for other OAMS  shoppers when your pantry is running low on goods.  It makes a large amount, especially because I added the extra 2 cups of broth.  We ended up eating this as dinner then as leftovers and I still have at least another meal to freeze for next month.  I love it when meals go a long way.

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