Hamburger Soup

Having a brain injury changes how you go through your day, for me, how I process and organize my thoughts is different from before my TBI. It takes a lot more energy and effort to organize my thoughts, which is ok if I have time. Cooking presents challenges for me after my accident, following recipes and staying organized can put my head in overload. I have had to learn to break down my cooking process into stages, this helps me to stay organized and allows me to take short breaks when I need them.

This recipe was passed down to me by my folks. I have enjoyed this Hamburger Soup several times when visiting family. A picture of the hand written recipe was emailed to me. The single page is the kind of recipe that is found folded and tucked into the front of Mom’s recipe card box.

After making my Thanksgiving Leftover Soup I wanted to give this one a try. Earlier this week I made the Hamburger Soup for the first time. Everyone seemed to enjoy the Soup, they all went back for seconds. I was asked make it again a couple of days later. This time I was going to make a double batch so we could send some to family that could not come by to visit because of COVID-19.

Hamburger Soup


Ground Beef 1 1/2 lbs Parsley 1 Medium Onion (Chopped) 2 Cups. 4 Carrots (Chopped Fine) 3 Sticks Celery (Chopped) 1 1/2 Cups 8 TBSPS Barley 1 – 28 oz Can Dices Tomatoes 3 Cans Consommé 1 Can Tomato Soup. 1 Bay Leaf. 1/2 TSP Thyme 2 Cups Water. Salt and Pepper to Taste Serves 10

Step One
This recipe calls for Ground Beef. A protein substitute could easily be made here, Turkey, Chicken, Sausage or Tofu are a few. Brown the Ground Beef. I season the Ground Beef with ground pepper and sea salt.

Ground Beef 1 1/2 lbs

Seasoning I sprinkle a quick pass over the Ground Beef with Sea Salt and Ground Pepper. My family is not one that cares for a lot of spice in their food and for the health concerns of some I am careful with amount of Salt I use. Our son has never liked any kind of sauces on his food, this includes condiments. Cooking for a family with this kind of dynamic has it’s challenges and rules. But rules change health concerns and likes and dislikes change. There was a time our house saw a Hawaiian Pizza with no sauce, now it comes with sauce.

For Picky Eaters

I made a little extra Ground Beef for our son, soup is not on his menu. I will pull out a portion of the Ground Beef for him before adding the rest to the Soup. He also only likes raw vegetables, so some of the Carrot Sticks, a few slices of tomato and a side of rice allows us to share a similar meal. A little of the Ground Beef will be set a side for the fur babies, too. Have to make sure to include everyone.

Side Step As I mentioned earlier it is important to know who you are serving, we have some that is sensitive to the grease from the Ground Beef. I rinse the Ground Beef under hot water to remove the grease. This does wash off some the seasoning, I will add more to the Soup.

Step Two
While the Ground Beef is browning pour the 3 cans of Consommé into a large pot.

Step Three
Add the 2 cups of Water to the pot with the Consommé.


I started putting in the ingredients that take the longest to cook or have the boldest flavours.

Step Four
I removed the outside layer of the Onion and cut the ends off, then I cut the Onion into bite size pieces, I tried to keep the pieces around half inch squares. Add the Onion to the Mixture.

Step Five
I gave the Celery a quick rinse to remove any dirt, then cut the Celery into bite size pieces that will fit on a spoon. I then add the Celery to the Soup.

3 Celery sticks (chopped) 1 1/2 cups

Step Six
The recipe calls for 4 Carrots. Unfortunately we didn’t have Carrots in the house and the store was out of stock. I was able to pickup a bag of Carrot Sticks, I made a rough guess of half a bag to replace the 4 Carrots.

An Addition Not In The Recipe

Step Seven
I had a package of Mushrooms on hand that needed to be used soon, adding them to the soup sounded like a good idea. I give the Mushrooms a quick rinse to remove any dirt. Canned Mushrooms could be used. If it is easier, use sliced Mushrooms, I buy the whole Mushrooms, they are usually a little less expensive and it only takes a minute to slice them.

Mushrooms 4 cups

Step Eight
Add One Bay Leaf to the Soup.

Step Nine
Add 1/2 TSP Thyme, mix into the Soup.


I didn’t have Parsley so it was left out of the Soup.

Step Ten
Add in 8 TBSP Barley. I used Pearl Barley

Step Eleven
Add in the Large tin of Diced Tomatoes.

Step Twelve
Add in the tin of Tomato Soup. Mix well to reduce the Tomato Soup concentrate.

The first time I made Hamburger Soup I was rushed and put it together and served it in about three hours. This time I have taken more time and started early, giving myself several hours to prepare the Soup and allowing it to simmer longer. The results were very good both times with no complaints.

Thanksgiving Leftover Soup

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