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Topic: Old standbys with secret ingredients

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Subject: Old standbys with secret ingredients
Date Posted: 3/25/2009 6:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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I just put one of my regular recipes on to cook. It's a crockpot recipe, so it will be ready tomorrow. However, as I was making it, I realized that I added something to it that most people probably wouldn't think of. I wondered how many other people had recipes that they make fairly regularly that has a little extra something mixed in.

The recipe that I made was Hamburger Soup. Not particularly fancy, but it's easy and since it relies on canned food or food that can be frozen, I can keep the ingredients around until I need them. Here's the recipe.

Hamburger Soup

  • 1 pound hamburger, browned and drained
  • 3 cans mixed vegetables (I personally like Veg-All)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • butter
  • flour

Put the hamburger, mixed vegetables, tomatoes, salt and pepper in a crockpot and cook, on low, for about 8 hours. When it's done, brown the onion in a little butter. Add a few tablespoons of flour. Add in a cup or two juice from the soup. Mix well. Pour back into soup and stir together. Heat through.

The onion, butter and flour forms a roux which thickens the soup. It doesn't have to be done. The onion can be browned with the hamburger and cooked with the rest of the soup. But it tastes better to save the onion until later. But, that's not the secret.

Instead, the secret is this: add some soy sauce to the hamburger as it's browning. It gives the soup an excellent flavor.

Does anyone else have a recipe that you make often and that you make in your own special way?

Subject: My friend's meat soup
Date Posted: 3/25/2009 7:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2008
Posts: 42
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My friend's secret: crock the meat (a toughest, cheapest, lowest-fat roast you can find, whole or cut into chunks) into the crock raw, cook overnight or 24 hours with just a little water - about 1 cup per pound of raw meat.

The resulting flavor of the broth and meat is what makes this simple no-brain soup delicious. You can add soy sauce if you want it, or a package of dried onion soup at the beginning for flavor, but you don't need to add anything, including salt.

After the meat has turned into ambrosia, add your veggies and cook 3-4 hours on medium or low to blend flavors. Enjoy over noodles, rice, or other grain.

Some late fall, winter, or early spring days, only this soup will do. She makes it often, and now that I know her secret of flavor development, I do too.

Good quality soy sauce is great to have around. It's the way Asians use soy, they do NOT eat lots of tofu as we believe. Soy sauce is full of B viramins and in moderation is very good for you. However, it's very salty, that's why moderation is necessary, though salt is necessary for health, it's not the killer that diet dictocrats think; that's table salt. Sea salt is delicious and nutritious. I like Celtic Sea Salt - love to eat a delicious pinch now and then.

My favorite soy-sauce dressing:

1/4 cup good soy sauce, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar or unflavored, unseasoned Asian rice vinegar (I prefer Japanese), 1 to 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon sugar. You may add 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (not hulled). Stir or shake well. Serve over noodles, stir fried bok choy and mushrooms, or what-have-you. Delicious over soba noodles. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2341.html

I'll try your soup if you'll try mine.