Barbecue Hamburger Soup - This barbecue laced hamburger soup is one of those "clean out the vegetable bin" kind of soups. It's one of those dishes that warms you from the inside out. The simple ingredients can be easily adapted to what you have on hand. For example, no fresh carrots? Use frozen. If someone dislikes celery, you can leave it out and use a little celery salt in it's place. Only green bell pepper? Use that and leave out the others. Dishes like this one are meant to be fun to make and economical too so don't sweat the small stuff. If you prefer using frozen mixed vegetables go for it! Hamburger soup was a regular soup served in my Mom and Gramma's kitchens. In fact often my Gramma would mix everything together and let it go all day in the slow cooker. I remember the aroma when we would walk in the door. Without a doubt, she always had a pan of cornbread ready nearby. Now that's down home comfort.
Barbecue is always a hot favorite at our table so when I wanted to jazz up an old standard that's what I turned to. To add to the smoky flavor saute the vegetables in bacon drippings in place of the oil if you any on hand. Bacon and barbecue compliment each other so well. You can also expand the flavor palate depending on the barbecue sauce that you use. There are so many terrific flavors available these days it makes life in the kitchen sheer bliss. At the end of cooking if you'd like to thicken the base use a couple of Tbsp of tomato paste instead of flour or cornstarch. I find soups like this get better ans better the longer they sit so it's perfect for reheating on a busy day as well. Homemade and low stress it's a bowl full of comfort on a cool day.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Barbecue Hamburger Soup
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 small red bell pepper diced
- 1 medium green bell or poblano pepper diced
- 4 medium carrots peeled and sliced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 lb lean ground beef
- olive oil or bacon drippings
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups beef broth plus additional if needed
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz can corn and peppers, drained
- 2 15 oz can light red kidney beans or pinto beans
- 1 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes (Chili fixins)
- 1 cup smoky-sweet barbecue sauce i.e. Sweet Baby Rays
- 1 cup baby lima beans or cut frozen green beans
- 2 Tbsp dark red chili powder
- 2 tsp seasoned salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dry Italian seasoning or oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 4 medium potatoes peeled cut into ½-inch cubes
- ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley [optional]
- In a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven heat a few drizzles of olive oil or use around 4 Tbsp bacon drippings. Over medium-high heat cook the diced onion, peppers, sliced carrot and celery for 5-8 minutes until softened and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
- Add the ground beef cooking until no pink remains. Season with seasoned salt and black pepper lightly. Add the Worcestershire sauce. Drain all excess fat from the pan.
- Add the beef broth, tomato sauce, corn, kidney beans, Rotel tomatoes, barbecue sauce, baby lima beans and seasonings. Reserve the parsley until the end of cooking. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the cubed potatoes to the pot and simmer until fork tender around 20-30 minutes longer.
- Add the chopped parsley in at the end of cooking.
- Serve hot with cornbread, if desired.