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story.lead_photo.caption Butter Sugar and Egg Pie Photo by Kelly Brant

Today's column is brought to you by memories from my childhood.

Part hamburger goulash, part chili mac and part beef and macaroni soup — this first recipe was inspired by a craving for pasta e fagioli and a soup (I think) I remember eating with my Aunt Frances and late Uncle Ronnie. But it's possible this is just the soup I imagined when hearing the story of Uncle Ronnie's ever-growing pot of soup.

Filled with ground beef, onion, red bell pepper, beans, corn and macaroni in a tomato-rich broth it hit the spot on unusually cold days.

The flavor is subtle, ideal for young and/or picky eaters, yet satisfying.

Speaking of picky eaters, as a child I was too picky to appreciate some of my Granny Tommie's finest recipes. Her Butter Sugar and Egg Pie is one example. It is extraordinarily sweet, but quite delicious. And with Thursday being Pi Day, it's the perfect time to share the recipe.

Beef, Vegetable and Macaroni Soup Photo by Kelly Brant

Beef, Vegetable and Macaroni Soup

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, finely diced

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

2 teaspoons garlic paste

1 pound ground beef

1 tablespoon chili seasoning

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 (15-ounce) can beans, such as red, pinto or kidney beans rinsed

3 to 4 cups beef broth

1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes, pureed

1 cup macaroni

1 cup corn kernels

Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat vegetable oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and saute, stirring often, until tender. Add garlic and beef and cook, breaking beef up into crumbles, until no longer pink. Drain off excess fat. Add chili seasoning and oregano and cook 1 minute; then add the bay leaf, beans, 3 cups of the broth and tomatoes. Mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add macaroni and corn and enough additional broth to submerge pasta. Return to a boil and simmer, partly covered, until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serve with parmesan cheese if desired.

Makes about 4 servings.

I don't know where Granny Tommie got this recipe or if it is one she created herself. The recipe is similar to egg custard pie and chess pie, but it is neither of those. There is no milk, cream, half-and-half, cornmeal or flour in the filling. It is exactly what it says it is: butter, sugar and eggs.

Granny Tommie's Butter Sugar and Egg Pie

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened

2 cups PLUS 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided use

3 eggs PLUS 3 egg whites, divided use

1 (9-inch) pie crust, baked

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Combine butter, sugar and whole eggs and mix well. Pour mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and quite thick. Pour into prepared pie crust.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy, then slowly add the remaining sugar, beating to stiff peaks — do not overbeat.

Spread meringue over hot filling, making sure it reaches the crust all the way around. Bake at 350 degrees until well browned, about 10 minutes.

Food on 03/13/2019

Print Headline: Memories prompt beefy soup, sweet pie

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