Because no single way of eating works for everybody.
Behold, my neighbourhood.
Okay, not really… but it sure felt like this when I was shovelling out my driveway today. (The double-L in “shovelling” is not a spelling mistake; I’m a Canadian, which also explains the snow.)
After having the near-death experience of heaving two freaking tons of soaking-wet snow-and-slush out of your driveway, including the giant wall of solid ice-muck that the sadistic maniacal street plough guy has blocked you in with, you really need some refuelling. So today I’m passing along the Secret Recipe that’s not such a secret… the winter rescue known as Autumn Soup.
It’s an old recipe. You’ll find variations of it all over the ‘net, on every site from Cooks.Com to Taste of Home. I learned it from my mother, many years ago; and she got it many years before that, from Betty Crocker’s Good and Easy Cookbook. This is the original, with no barley or rutabagas or other additives: just the straight, cheap, nutritious, simple delight.
And if – unlike me – you have any brains, you’ll start it simmering before you go out to shovel your driveway!
1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped or sliced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup peeled cubed potatoes
4 cups beef stock
1 teaspoon bottled brown bouquet sauce
1 bay leaf (Note: I leave this out; it’s a matter of taste)
1/8 teaspoon dried basil (Note: I use a whole teaspoon. Who can taste one-eighth of a teaspoon of anything?)
6 fresh whole tomatoes, or 1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes with liquid
salt and pepper to taste (Note: the original recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.)
If using fresh tomatoes:
In large saucepan, cook and stir meat until brown. Drain off fat. Cook and stir onions with meat until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients except fresh tomatoes; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add tomatoes; cover and simmer 10 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender. 6 servings (one tomato per person in the soup bowls).
If using canned tomatoes:
Reduce amount of beef stock to 3 cups. Stir in tomatoes with remaining ingredients; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes.