Last night Mama Squirrel put some fridge leftovers together and somehow duplicated Mr. Fixit's mother's hamburger soup.
Anyway, here's what I did. The recipe is descriptive, not prescriptive: don't go cooking one potato to copy this.
1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
splash of olive oil for flavour
lots of sliced celery (or part onions)
3 fat, ripe tomatoes
1 cup leftover pasta sauce and half a can tomato paste (plus maybe a cupful of water, or two cupfuls--depends on whether you want it to be more like stew or more like soup)
1 cooked potato and about a cupful of cooked yellow beans
1 cupful frozen peas (add at the end)
In a large pot (I used a Dutch oven), brown the ground beef; drain if necessary but I didn't because there was almost no fat left in the pan. Add a little oil if necessary and add in the celery; cook until softened a bit. Add salt and pepper whenever you want. Add in tomato ingredients plus as much water as seems right, plus cut-up leftover vegetables. Mama Squirrel left the beans in nice long bean-sized pieces.
Bring it all to a boil, turn down and let simmer for about an hour. (Low enough so it doesn't burn, but just enough to bubble a bit.) Add the peas right at the end.
This doesn't have much seasoning in it (other than the salt, pepper, and what's in the pasta sauce) and you might think it's too bland; feel free to doctor it as you like.
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