A long-wed mom of three, Bowling Greens Stephanie Rine finally opened one of her wedding gifts two months ago.
And now she cant stop using it.
When I was married my mom put together a recipe box for me onto which she had lovingly hand-copied favorite recipes from aunts, grandmothers, a great-grandmother, neighbors and friends.
One recipe in the box, for Hamburger Soup, came from an elderly neighbor named Eldon Workman, a former owner of the old BG Holiday Inn.
This older couple lived across the street as I grew up. I can remember Eldon making this recipe when I was over there as a child.
Rines mother included Workmans soup recipe in the wedding present box many years later. She chose this one as one that was meaningful, cause they were like surrogate grandparents. My own grandparents lived far away.
And hidden in the box is where it stayed all these years, until lately I was looking for something quick to make for my family. Rifling through the collection, the hamburger soup recipe caught her eye. It turned out I had all the ingredients.
So she whipped up a batch and something unusual happened.
Its hard to please all five people in our family with one thing, and this everybody liked.
Husband Eric gave two thumbs up. Hes really the guy I aim to please, Rine said with a laugh.
Also enjoying the soup were daughters Rachel, 15, and Hannah, 13; and son Eric, a second grader at Kenwood Elementary.
The discovery occurred over the Christmas break and Rine has already made it twice since then.
Its a very inexpensive soup to make. So in these times its another economical meal. And its very hearty with the barley and the beef.
Shes modified Workmans original recipe slightly. I double the recipe when I make it. And, of course, people can add or delete. I did add in the garlic and Worcestershire, because those are things we like.
She also added fresh cracked pepper.
The result is a perfect blend of warm, yet mellow flavors that have diners diving in with gusto.
I like to serve it with bread, Rine noted. Asiago foccacio from Panera is a favorite.
Add a fresh fruit salad and the meal is complete.
As the Rines demonstrate, this is a good meat-based soup for a family with young ones, since hamburger is a much easier meat for kids to enjoy than a heavier beef. Yet the tasty clear broth and soothing mix of vegetables reassure parents that its healthy meal.
It takes an hour to simmer once you have all the ingredients ready." Make it on a lazy Saturday afternoon and it will keep for a week, refrigerated.
Rine, who grew up in Mansfield, came to BG to attend the university. She became a licensed social worker and spent many years conducting home studies for two different adoption agencies. Anyone in a 60-mile radius of Bowling Green, I would be contracted to do the home study.
She switched to stay-at-home status when Eric was born.
Cooking has remained a priority, and one she enjoys.
I did have a blue ribbon pasta salad at the county fair, last summer.
But she credits a number of older people for mentoring her in her cooking skills.
When I was first married I was afraid to make a pie, for example.
Joan McCormick, a senior member of her church, thought it was nothing to make a pie. She had me over to her house and we set up separate stations, side by side, as McCormick took the young bride through the process step by step.
These days, when Rines husband starts yearning for his favorites, a peach pie or perhaps pecan, she can produce a perfect pie with ease. Either is great with hamburger soup.
1 lb. ground beef (browned)
1 cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
1 can (16 oz.) diced tomatoes
2 cups sliced carrots
2 stalks sliced celery
1/3 cup barley
1/4 cup catsup
1 T. Worcestershire sauce (optional)
2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. basil
5 cups water
Brown beef and set aside. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil and butter until soft. Add beef, onions and all other ingredients to water in large pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn temperature to low, cover and let simmer for 1 hour. Enjoy!
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