Mom’s Kitchen — Souperburgers

     These are essentially Sloppy Joes and my mom, Phyllis Newell, has been making them since I was in grade school. The recipe came from Mrs. Childs, the cook at the Zenith country school that included grades one through eight. Instead of a one-room school, ours included three rooms + a minuscule gym that also served as a stage (the wall behind the gym opened onto the school room used by 6th, 7th and 8th graders – this area then became the stage where we presented our annual Christmas program).
     Growing up in the “clean plate” generation, we were required to eat everything on our plates and I remember my friend, Ruth Bietler, hiding a piece of gristly meat inside her milk carton. Her attempt to deceive Mrs. Sloan did not go unnoticed however. Somehow she managed to choke down the meat and that episode was a reminder to all – never waste food and don’t question authority! When Souperburgers were on the menu that was never a problem!
     Chicken Gumbo Soup is not the easiest thing to find (generally carried in most grocery stores; it just doesn’t warrant a great deal of shelf space). What’s more, the first time I opened the can of soup I was startled to discover there was rice and veggies in the soup – those things had never shown up in my mom’s Souperburgers so I was sure I’d made a mistake. That was before cell phones; actually we were newly married and had no phone at all so I couldn’t make a quick call. The recipe turned out just fine and now I try to keep a can of Chicken Gumbo Soup on hand.
     My mother made these recently for a family gathering and I took photos of her standing at the stove. 

Souperburgers    Makes about 3 cups
1 lb. lean ground beef
½ cup chopped onion
1 can Campbell's® Chicken Gumbo Soup
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
6 buns, split and toasted

1.     Brown beef and cook onion in skillet until tender; stir to separate meat.  Add soup and seasonings.  Heat; stir often.
Mom used a speciality tool to break up the ground beef as it browns along with the onions.
After the beef has browned, she adds the soup and other condiments.
2.     Pile onto buns. I like to add a dollop of sweet pickle relish to mine; a slice of cheese is also a nice addition.

Similar recipe: Beef Burgers

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