The formal name of this soup is American Potage, but as a child Warren loved this soup so much that eating it felt like getting a great big hug and kiss from mom and the term stuck. I just glanced at the calendar and see that today is the perfect day to share a recipe that perfectly honors her legacy as a loving mother and wonderful cook. Today is the 11th anniversary of her death. Perpetual light shine on her and may she rest eternally in heaven above.
Hug and Kiss Soup
Brown slowly in a little fat in a heavy kettle....1 lb. ground meat. Add and cook 5 minutes more...1 c. chopped onions.
Add.....4 c. hot water
1 c. sliced carrots
1 c. sliced celery
1 c. cubed potatoes
2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. beef bouillon
1 bay leaf, crumbled
Mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil, cover, then simmer 20 minutes. Add.....1 28 oz. can of tomatoes. cover and simmer 10 minutes. Serves 6 (6 whole fresh tomatoes may be used instead of canned)
That's how the original appears exactly. Here are my tweaks.
*I always use ground venison and when browning I cover and turn the heat a little higher than normal so the meat really browns and the juices brown significantly to the bottom of the kettle.
*When I add the water I scrape the bottom of the kettle to loosen the browned bits; this is the key to imparting that yummy "hug and kiss" flavor.(Thanks Jenny)
*I always add more potatoes because we all love potatoes in soup.
*I use a little less salt.
* I leave the bay leaf whole and then remove it before serving.
* I use my home canned tomato juice in place of the canned tomatoes because we love the flavor and the kids like it better without chunks of tomato.
Here in Wisconsin we're still in soup mode because winter will not leave! Warren had to plow snow today. Actually it was more of a frozen icy, sleety, snow mix. Just for comparison and since I remember March 24, 2000 quite well I can tell you that March can bring any kind of weather in Wisconsin. That particular March day was warm and sunny. None of us wore coats or boots, the snow was gone. Warren had been laying out pipe in the weeks prior, a sure sign that spring has truly sprung. But alas it's not 2000, but 2011 and it's oh so cold and the ground is still covered in a thick icy snowy layer. I better get cooking because soup is on the menu for tonight.