Throw Back Thursday posts are sometimes the place where I write about food that I was forced to eat as a child that I swore I would *never* eat as an adult.
We saw how well that worked with the Sausage-stuffed Acorn Squash. And broccoli. And mushrooms. And pea soup.
Well, this one is something I have pretty much managed to NEVER make as an adult.
I’m currently 52. That means in the 70’s, I was in grammar school and then middle school – or elementary school and junior high school for people who don’t live in small towns in New England. During this time, there was rampant inflation, my parents had a new house that needed repairs, and Mom and Dad were working different shifts to cover childcare during the times we didn’t have school. Mom economized on everything, and she had 6 mouths to feed. So she got creative with things, and she could stretch food like you wouldn’t believe.
One of the things she did was to take a few hotdogs, maybe 4 of them and cut them up into smaller chunks. She’d throw them into a pot with onions, mixed vegetables, beans, and chicken broth, and toss in a can of diced tomatoes. She’d let that simmer a while and that with some white bread and butter would be dinner for 6.
It didn’t taste bad. It was okay. It had a hammy, salty flavor to it because she used the cheapest hotdogs she could get, and those usually were pork based. I just didn’t like the texture of beans, she would cut the onions too big and I’d come across something that resembled a tapeworm in my bowl of soup (yes, I was such a joy to eat dinner with when I was young!) and I would loudly announce I wasn’t eating anymore. Of course, that would be after I ate all the hotdog bits and my bread and butter.
I am ashamed to admit it. The real reason I won’t make Hotdog Soup is that I associate it with being poor. That’s a pretty classist statement to make, and it says that I’m pretty damn privileged. I will make all sorts of other foods that people associate with being on their uppers, but I will not make Hotdog soup.
So while I was doing some research on another topic, I came across a recipe that looked familiar – except one ingredient. It was a Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta. It had almost everything the soup my Mother made, except it was made with Italian Sausage and included pasta tubes. Again, it made me wonder if my mother saw this soup at a friend’s house and decided she would try to make it, only she used hotdogs because they were cheaper than sausage.
My poor husband must think I’m a lunatic. I started laughing halfway through reading him the recipe.
“chicken broth, cannelini beans, chopped onion…diced tomatoes….hey this looks sort of familiar…oh my God it’s Hotdog Soup!”
I would post the recipe, but as I have yet to actually try the Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta, I don’t feel it would be fair.