November 28, 2012

Hamburger Vegetable Beef Soup

A few months ago I asked folks on the facebook page if they ever had hamburger soup in grade school (most of you had and loved it). Then I asked if it was served with the bestest soup dunking sammich known to man – peanut butter and honey on white bread – which launched a bona fide throw-down.

This is pretty much how the camps were divided that day:
  • Never had the soup. 
  • Had the soup; never heard of the sandwiches. 
  • Had the soup; never heard of the sandwiches but they sound gross. 
  • Had the soup and the sandwiches. 
  • Had the soup and the sandwiches and they were amazeballs. 
  • Had the soup and the sandwiches and they were amazeballs and if you call them gross again I’ll punch you in the throat. 
I loved this soup so much when I was a kid that I set out to recreate it a few years ago and came up with this recipe. Trying to make it as close to the original meant using ingredients I wouldn't typically use with my usual Vegetable Beef Soup but I was trying to be authentic so I used ground beef and canned vegetables. If I were making my traditional Vegetable Beef Soup, I'd use stew meat, most of these same veggies plus cabbage, okra and maybe even some barley.

If you had this growing up, you have GOT to try it now. And hopefully you’ll whip up some peanut butter and honey sandwiches to serve along with it! I had folks that day on the FB page ask for a recipe for the sandwiches (yes, really). Just mix up some peanut butter and honey in a bowl until it’s the consistency of jam and spread it on the softest, whitest, carb-loadedest, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouthidest white bread you can find. Also? Pancake syrup is awesome too if you don't have any honey. And I think might actually be what my school used. Because we were country. And broke.


Hamburger Vegetable Beef Soup
a.k.a. School Soup
1 pound lean ground beef (90/10 or better)
1 small onion, diced
Salt & pepper to taste
2 cans mixed vegetables (such as Veg-All), undrained
1 can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can water
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
5 beef bullion cubes (or equivalent amount of granules)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Brown ground beef with onion, salt and pepper in a Dutch oven or soup pot until beef is cooked through. Do not drain. *GASP!* Trust me, you need the fat and flavor and we’re using lean ground beef, remember?

Add remaining ingredients and simmer over medium-low heat for one hour. Remove from heat and allow soup to rest for 30 minutes before serving.


PRINTABLE RECIPE


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59 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh! I grew up in the south/North Carolina and I used to just love the peanut butter and honey on white bread with this soup! You rock! I am speechless right now! Thank you!

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    1. You're so welcome!! I'm just glad to know I'm not the only one that loved it so much!

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    2. Our school recipe is apple jelly mixed with peanut butter. Taste Amazing!

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    3. I grew up in NC too and I remember this soo well. YUMM. Thank you for the recipe and the memories!!! One thing they mixed grape jelly with peanut butter with the honey and made an amazing spread!!! Soup was good too.. lol.

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  2. Yep! This is the good ole veggie and hamburger school soup...And I think you are right about the syrup instead of honey. Thanks for the flashback!

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    1. You're welcome! Thanks for your comment :)

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  3. This was my favorite lunch to eat while going to school in South Carolina. Thank you for sharing! :)

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    1. I'm starting to think SC had the monopoly on this! We know how to eat!

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  4. Our school only served can soup, but this sounds good. I have never actually mixed the paenut better together with the honey. I wonder if that changes the flavour, not that it needed changing...it rocks my world. I like it on toast as well...it melts into the toast and makes it orgasmic!

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  5. I make a similar soup - so comforting when it starts getting cold!

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  6. I made this last night and it was so good and soo easy! Even my picky hubby liked it! Didn't try it with peanut butter and honey sandwiches tho. Those are awesome but I'm afraid to dip them in any kind of soup. Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. Glad y'all liked it!! Sometimes the easy ones are the best!

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  7. Yum!! Totally remember this soup from school! This was one of the few things they served in school that I liked :) Now, if you can figure out how they made that awesome chili they used for chili dogs, I would be a happy girl :) I went to school in Louisiana so not sure if it was the same chili where ya'll live but I've been on the lookout for it for years. Anywho, thanks for the soup recipe :)

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    1. Ask and ye shall receive! http://southyourmouth.blogspot.com/2012/03/hot-dog-chili-sauce.html

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    2. Awesome!!! You rock!!! Thanks girl!I can't wait to try it :) Have a great weekend :)

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  8. Where I went to school they served this soup with cheese toast(a slice of velveeta melted on white bread that was not at all toasted but that's what they called it.)I make a soup very similar except I use spicy V8 as my "broth". My kiddos love it. We all LOVE PB and honey sandwiches, will have to try them with the soup next time. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes!!

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  9. I grew up in southwest VA in the mountains and almost every Friday we had this soup with those peanut butter sandwiches. I can't imagine kids being served real hamburger soup and pb sandwiches today. I can't wait to have this when we do 80's night with the kids.

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  10. we had this at camp....was called Campfire Stew back in the 60's. Man! long time ago.....sure tasted great when you were cold and hungry !!!!!

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  11. Never had the soup as a kid but my mom found a recipe and got me hooked. I use the frozen mixed veggiesw cause they tend to stay firmer and I throw in some frozen okra and any other veggies I may have. LOVE IT!

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  12. I remember this soup and the sandwich too. I seem to remember the soup was in a green melmac bowl or some type of a plastic bowl. I can even smell the cafeteria. I grew up in S.C. and this was when I was in elementary school.

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    1. Just saw your comment after I posted mine and it was practically the same. So funny to share these sweet memories!

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  13. Patty - Lexington, SCJuly 22, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    You cooking hooker, you!! Not many recipes can make me want hot soup this time of the year!!
    My favorite school lunch! (I'm 50) We made this on a regular basis at home as well. My cooking style has evolved drastically thru the years but I still make this soup every-so-often. I want it piping-hot and yes, with the PB & honey samwich!! Hmm...maybe this weekend!

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    1. Oh my gosh....I grew up in Central Kentucky...and remember having this yummy lunch..and yes I remember the green melamine bowls they served it in...thanks so much for the memory...and the recipe...

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    2. Our school still serves the soup & sandwiches. I love it!

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  14. I remember the very same soup at school but we had toasted cheese sandwiches with it. Loved it!

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    1. I live in NC and as Wendy we always had toasted grill cheese with this soup and I still do when I make it for my family now...delicious !

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  15. I never ate lunch at school (we lived half a block away so always went home), but I love peanut butter and honey sandwiches--usually have one for breakfast two or three times a week. My mom was a school cook for several years and got to bring a lot of the leftovers home, but the only thing I really remember her bringing home was their version of Spanish Rice, and I thought it was gross it was so thick and pasty.

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    1. You gave me a good trip down memory lane. I am 52 and and was so envious in grade school of those who got to walk home for lunch or go to the five and dime. This soup is one of my favorites and being poor and raised in the North where it was cold, we had it all the time in the winter.

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  16. I grew up in SC also and remember this lunch so well. The soup was served in green melamine or some other type of a plastic bowl. I kind of remember swapping the half of grilled cheese for another peanut butter and honey half. Wow, am I that old? Aaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!

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  17. We had bean soup, and the sandwiches were peanut butter and orange marmalade they mixed together and served. Loved it. Almost as good as Wednesdays when they served Mexican food!!

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  18. This is my moms Italian soup only we add about 1/3 head chopped cabbage and boil for 20 minutes first then add all the rest. The cabbage broth makes the soup delicious. U should try it. I double this cause my family wants this two days in a row. And..yes I have had the sandwiches. My daddy made them with peanut butter, syrup and a tiny bit of soft butter. YUMMY AND STILL EAT THEM.....

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  19. soup sounds great! we used to have the same soup and pb sandwiches at school, too. it was always on fridays ;-) anyway, i don't like pb sandwiches, but i do love soup. they probably served this many decades ago in the schools. they don't serve things like this anymore ;-/

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  20. This was my favorite lunch at school, in the bootheel of Missouri, all the way down to the state line of Arkansas. This soup and a peanut butter and syrup sammich. Good times.

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  21. I make my the same way, but I do drain the meat and use frozen vegetable instead of canned. My mom would make lunch meat sandwiches on white bread with mayo. Never had peanut butter and honey, just peanut butter and jelly, until I met my husband.

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  22. I made this the other night, and it was awesome!!! Our kids usually hate soups, but they gobbled this stuff up. We served it with grilled cheese sammiches though :)

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  23. Love, love, love this soup. I actually typed in 'lunch room ground beef soup" to find this. I grew up eating pb & honey sandwiches (had one just the other night too) and love them but I've never tried them in soup. Our school always served with cheese bread, which someone else mentioned above. The white bread with a piece of cheese "melted" on top, not toasted. My go to for veggie soup is grilled cheese sandwich... this might just be supper tonight since frigidly cold weather is supposed to be moving into the area (I'm in East TN... but most of the country is supposed to be hit with this weather). Thanks so much for sharing. I'm heading to the store to by some things I need for the soup.

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  24. Really, really good soup! Sure hits the spot on a cold, wintry night. I especially liked the taste with the Italian seasoning and thyme. DH and I love spicy foods, so I added a little garlic powder and creole seasoning to mix. I didn't have the Veg-All veggies, so I used canned corn, green beans, lima beans, and sweet peas that I rinsed and drained before adding. Served with hot cornbread, it was the perfect meal for us.

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  25. Yes! I remember both from grade school!! The peanut butter sandwiches were smashed together, but I loved them!! And, the soup made with ground beef is how I make mine to this day. Thanks for the memories,

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  26. I have made this soup a couple times from your site and my whole family loves it! I too grew up on the Virginia/North Carolina border. My grandmother recently passed away and my mom and I were going through her recipes and came across one very similar; it warmed my heart so much to think of her making this soup for her young family like I am doing now. Its budget friendly and gets my kids to eat some veggies! Thank you for sharing!

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  27. This is how my mom made her soup. She also mixed peanut butter with the dark Karo syrup and put it on white bread.

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  28. Love this soup...making it tonight!!

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  29. I grew up in Kentucky and we had this soup and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with ours only they mixed the pb & j together so it was awesome I can't wait to try your soup

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  30. Our school served peanut butter and applesauce sandwiches. And they were "amazeballs". I still crave one every now and then still....with this kind of soup!

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  31. We have this with pimento cheese sammiches...got to be homemade pimento cheese! And if I really love my husband that day I do grilled pimento cheese. Good good stuff!!!

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  32. Forrest Roberts Lambert IIMay 8, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    In the area where I live in Alabama we had chili, instead of the soup, with PB&Syrup sandwiches. I usually carried my lunch to school, PB&J 90 percent of the time, but when PB&S sandwiches and chili were on the menu, I made sure I had a quarter to get me some. Oops, I'm telling my age now.

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  33. Hey Mandy, I love your recipes. I wanted to share my childhood favorite with you, My mum would make Campbell's tomato soup with milk. And serve our favorite sandwich with it, peanut butter, Miracle Whip, iceberg lettuce, on white bread. What can I say? We are Canadian!!

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  34. Why do I need to allow the soup to take a nap before serving? Shouldn't I just let it cool?

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  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  36. We love school soup, but when I worked in the lunchroom we added a squirt of ketchup and a little bit of brown sugar. Yum!

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  37. On place of the beef bouillon, I put in big bottle of v8. Skip the beef bouillon. Can add some low na diced tomatoes....you got it!

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  38. Does this soup freeze well?

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  39. Great recipe for a walk down memory lane! There are many of us who grew up in the south, NC for me, enjoying great school lunches such as this soup. I taught in the NC School System for 30 years and watched school lunches go from delicious to disastrous! Kids can't and won't eat what they feed them these days. It would be nice to see good lunches return. Thanks for sharing!

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  40. I'm from Ohio and went to school in the 70's. We didn't have this at school, but this soup is a pretty common home cooked soup, though many people I know now use the frozen veggies. I also make an alphabet soup version for my kids that is pretty much this same recipe, only I add the alphabet pasta (from bulk food stores) and a can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup. Not on it's own, but in with the other tomatoes and boullion as above, which makes it taste like the canned alphabet soup of my childhood only in a big batch.

    I'm 50 and I still eat peanut butter and honey at least once a week if not more, as well as on toast or English muffins...but at my school, they made the peanut butter sandwiches by blending peanut butter and apple jelly, which I also still make on occasion. They used big industrial sized cans of government peanut butter, which was all natural and very stiff, no added sweeteners or oils like commercial brands of peanut butter, so something had to be added to it to make it spreadable. I know some "lumch ladies" who have worked in other districts where they use light Karo -- which is also what I think you are calling pancake syrup, which is made by Karo, right? In my area, we put maple syrup on pancakes, or if not then the artificially flavored store bought "maple" syrup like Mrs. Butterworths or Log Cabin, etc. Anyway, the peanut butter mixed with some generic apple jelly is really good too.

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  41. I grew up in Virginia and we had Hamburger Vegetable Beef Soup and PB and Honey Sandwiches. Sometimes we had the Sandwiches with Grape Jelly as well. I am 47 Years Old and still eat PB&J Sandwiches with my Soup.lol

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  42. I have had this soup with a peanut butter sandwich but my favorite way was to crush cracker in it to soak up the juice, mmm now that was so good,

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  43. From reading the comments this seems to be a Southern tradition. I am in my 60's and have never heard of peanut butter mixed with honey till today. In the Midwest PB is served with grape jelly. Never had this soup either but it sounds good. Our standby was tomato soup with grilled cheese.

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Hi there! While I'm not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven't been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments. And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y'all! - Mandy

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