Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Boy Scout Stew - School Lunch Series

I refuse to believe I am the only kid who ever had or remembers this soup from my school lunch days!

It is basically a vegetable soup with ground beef.  I have heard it called Hamburger Stew and  Hamburger Soup, but I know it as good ol' "Boy Scout Stew".  I decided to create this one because, first of all it is SO easy.  There are no fancy spices, just salt and pepper and the taste of the vegetables.  No difficult procedures or special skill set needed.  I find it to be tasty and comfy.  It has a limited amount of veggies, I suppose you could put your own additions in without much problem, but these are the ones I remember being in it.

This is a great way to use up veg that needs used in your fridge, or in the garden or in the veggie basket.  My pot would serve 4-6 I think.  And don't forget to make a fresh loaf of bread, for bread and butter with this.  Just takes me right back to my childhood and my moms huge, I mean HUGE pots of vegetable beef soup, eaten with a piece of bread and butter.  Mmmm!

  Here is what you need:
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
4 cups beef/chicken/veggie stock
1 lb ground beef
11/2 cups chopped celery (tops too!)
3-4 small shallots minced (1 med onion)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup frozen corn
2 med potatoes peeled or not, cubed into small cubes
1/4 cup sugar

In a large soup pot, brown hamburger, seasoning liberally with salt and pepper.  When it is done, drain but do not rinse, put back in soup pot and add in all vegetables.  Stir often and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Salt and pepper again!  Remember to season each addition, that way at the end you can expect a perfectly seasoned dish.  After 3-5 minutes add in tomatoes and broth.  Swirl tomato can with water to get all of the tomato out and add to soup.  If your soup needs more broth add 1 cup of water.  *I did this*. Add sugar.  The ONLY reason I am adding sugar to this recipe is that my tomatoes will not be simmering for hours.  You can omit it, but it cuts the acid nicely.  The carrots do much the same thing, so the choice is yours.   Simmer with the lid ON for 30 minutes.  Now get your face in it and ENJOY!!!

*For those of you who have asked about my meal kits.  This is a perfect example.  The day you choose to put them together brown the hamburger and drain, put in baggie.  In a larger Ziploc put all of your already chopped veggies.  Put the baggie of hamburger IN the larger one with the veggies and in the fridge it goes.  You only need to make up some stock or take it out of the freezer or open a container, and add your tomatoes.  QUICK and healthy.  A nice pot of soup to enjoy while having dinner around the table with your family.

Don't delay.  Make my school lunch throwback stew for dinner soon!

Your "hopes this stew doesn't involve any real boy scouts" chefwannabe


  1. Yumm! The homemade version is always better :) Hugs!

  2. Very finely chopped and peeled apples work for the sugar. I use them and or carrots in my red sauce.