Monday, 8 April 2013

Hamburger Helper Soup


Cakers know their way around ground beef like nobody’s business. With a single pound, my mother could make a casserole, a meatloaf, a burger for the next day’s lunch and a pair of earrings – plus use the Styrofoam tray for chocolate haystacks to take to the next church bakesale.

When it came to full-course dinners, Hamburger Helper helped her hamburger help her make a great meal. (Think about that line too much and your brain starts to hurt bad.) One package of Hamburger Helper provided our family with meat, noodles, a gravy-type liquid and a small mountain of sodium. That's all four caker food groups!

Vegetables aside, this soup is mighty tasty. It comes from the Victorian Order of Nurses cookbook. VONs are nurses who travel to people's homes. Changing a crusty bandage in a hospital is one thing; changing it in someone’s living room is a whole other skill set. I raise my caker fork to the good work VONs do across the land every day. I hope there’s a steaming bowl of Hamburger Helper soup waiting when you get home.

1 lb. ground beef
½ cup onion, chopped
1 package beef noodle Hamburger Helper
5 cups water
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon salt (see note)
½ teaspoon pepper
1 (19 ounce) can whole tomatoes
300 gram package frozen vegetables or 2 cups cooked vegetables

Brown ground beef and onion in large saucepan; drain. Stir in sauce mix, water, bay leaf, salt, pepper and tomatoes with liquid; break up tomatoes with fork. Heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat. Cover; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in noodles and vegetables. Return to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover; cook for 10 minutes longer. Remove bay leaf.

Note: I didn't add the salt or I would've been up all night drinking from the garden hose. Again.

Source: Victorian Order of Nurses, Quinte Branch, 95th Anniversary Cookbook



11 comments:

  1. You can't beat homebaked goods on a greasy styrofoam meat tray. Nothing says thank you for your contribution to our fundraising efforts like a dose of e-coli!

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    1. Right. Forgot to mention: Please WASH the Styrofoam tray before you use it.

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  2. I would have never thought to make a soup out of Hamburger Helper. When I was a kid, my family was pretty poor so Hamburger Helper was considered a luxury. i remember looking at it in the store and wishing that we could get a dozen boxes of it - it seemed like it would be the most amazing thing EVER. If only my Mom had known about Hamburger Helper Soup. She'd do anything to stretch the dollar. It might have been just the trick!

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    1. Hamburger Helper a luxury?!? My heart goes out to you, Eartha. I hope you're making up for it these days by eating it straight from the pot while riding around town in a limo.

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  3. Uh, Brian, that looks almost...healthy. I think there are more vegetables in this than in all your other recipes put together.

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    1. I know. I feel like I've reached a new low on this blog. Would it help at all if I said the soup made me gassy?

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  4. That looks really, really scrumptious. Is this turning into a food porn blog? Your photos are getting darned good. I am starving hungry now I have seen that picture and it is only 5.30pm.

    Next time someone I know takes a trip across the Atlantic and asks me if I'd like anything brought back I am going to ask for Hamburger Helper. Of course, as with many, many things mentioned on your blog, I have no idea what it is.

    Best wishes from London, England - Jenny x

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    1. You are missing out, Jenny. But if you want to make your own version of Hamburger Helper, just take some noodles, ground beef, brown food colouring and a cup of salt and you'll be pretty close to the real deal.

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  5. I think the comments on this post are as funny as the post. Here's to lots of limo-riding Hamburger Helper-eating time for all!

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    1. I have some of the best commenters out there. Hands down.

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