Hamburger Soup

  • Yield 8 to 10 servings

"This soup is delicious and fun to eat. My family makes a game out of finding the peppercorns. We collect all 10 in a small bowl to be certain that no one bites down on one."


3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 pounds ground beef
4 celery tops
1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes
3 (14.5-ounce) cans beef consomme, plus 2 cans water
1/2 teaspoon thyme
4 carrots, diced
1 bay leaf
10 peppercorns
1/2 cup barley
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained (optional)


  1. Melt butter in a large soup kettle. Saute onion. Add beef and cook until slightly browned.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients, except barley and beans. Bring to a boil. Add barley and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about one hour. Add beans, if using, and heat through. Remove celery tops before serving.

Joan Clare, Harbor Springs, Mich.