For the fall equinox I made my mum Sher’s famous Autumn Soup recipe, and I also made a Mennonite favourite for dessert, Plum Platz. I’ll share that recipe next week.
The making of a big, steaming pot of this delicious soup was always a glorious herald of fall in the Goerzen house when I was growing up. I hadn’t had it probably since I was a young teenager, before I went vegetarian and then pescavorian (is that a word?) for fifteen years. But now that I’m eating meat again… well, with the coming of fall I knew I had to call up dear ol’ mum for her Autumn Soup recipe. I made it for Equinox Dinner, and my god, the memories that came flooding back.
I remember sitting at the table in our house on Camwood Avenue, putting an ice cube in the soup to cool it (I remember doing that a lot with soup), then dipping a slice of buttered bread into it. I remember running off to watch Punky Brewster or Silver Spoons after said dipping. I also remember riding my bike home from school for lunch, and having a nice steaming bowl of this comforting soup on the table to greet me. (Which I would then promptly put an ice cube into.) Food memories are so strong, aren’t they?
I’m happy to share my mum’s recipe with you, and I’ve cut and pasted it right from her email, exactly as she so adorably typed it out. (BTW, I used the canned tomatoes method.)
1 lb. ground beef
1 c. chopped onion
4 c. water
1 c. cut-up carrots
1 c. diced celery
1 c. cubed-pared potatoes
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp bottled brown bouquet sauce
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp. basil
In a large saucepan, cook and stir meat until brown. Drain off fat. Cook and stir onions with meat until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients, except tomatoes; heat to boiling. reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add tomatoes; cover and simmer 10 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Makes 6 servings.
**One can (28 ounces) tomatoes (with liquid) can be substituted for the fresh tomatoes (this is what I usually do). Reduce water to 3 cups. Stir in tomatoes with remaining ingredients; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes. The canned tomatoes break apart and give a rosy colour (ahhhh).