This is one of those strange ideas that turns out very very well. The ingredient amounts are all approximate because it varies each time we make it. You will want to customize this to your own tastes.
Oil for sauteeing
2 white onions, diced
6 clove garlic, diced
2 pounds ground beef
assorted herbs and spices: oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, chili flakes, cumin
6 tablespoons mayo (we make our own)
1 tablespoon mustard–your favorite variety
8 cups stock or broth
several tablespoons dill pickle juice
Garnishes (choose all or just your favorites)
iceberg lettuce, shredded
dill pickle relish or sliced dill pickles
hot sauce or ketchup
Saute the onions and celery, and when they are soft, add the garlic. Let that saute for a minute or two, and add the ground beef.
When the beef is brown, add the herbs and spices, the mayo and the mustard. Toss that around for a few moments to let the spices bloom.
Add the stock and the dill pickle juice. Start with a tablespoon or two, let it simmer for 15 minutes or half an hour, and check again. Pickle juice is salty, and you don’t want to overdo it. We make our own stock, so it is not salty like a storebought broth would be. Take that into consideration as you add salt and pickle juice.
Let it simmer for at least half an hour.
Ladle into bowls. Add garnishes as desired. Mark added a swizzle of ketchup to his bowl of soup, and found that this really added to the classic hamburger flavor. I added hot sauce.
Idea: heat leftovers up for brunch, and top each portion with a poached egg or two.
This recipe served all five of us for a dinner and two brunches. The brunch portions were smaller, and we added eggs.