Lemay Special

It's amazing what constitutes “comfort foods” for different people. For some it's chocolate or something sweet; for others, warm bread or cookies. Sometimes just the delicious smell alone provides comfort when you're cold, wet, tired, lonesome or all of the above. For me, it's a big kettle of Lemay Special. I grew up in New England where the winter nights began at 3:30pm and cold and snow were a requisite part of living in central Massachusetts in February. A Saturday winter tradition in the Lemay household was for Mom to prepare this hearty soup early in the day and it would simmer and sit on the stove till dinner time. Some call it Hobo Stew and it's probably got lots of different names and variations on the theme. It's been cold and raw here the last week, so I put the soup pot on and brewed up some Lemay Special and it warmed us up from the inside out. Just in case there's none left when you stop by, here's the recipe so you can make some for yourself.


Lemay Special
Author: Marcie Connelly Lynn
  • 1 lb minced (ground) beef or turkey
  • 4 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 4-6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp each salt
  • 1 – 15oz (400g) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 – 8oz (225g) can tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp black ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Tobasco sauce to your taste
  • Water
  1. Brown the meat, onion and garlic; drain any fat. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, vegetables and rest of ingredients. Add enough water to just cover the vegetables. Stir well. Add more salt, pepper, Tobasco to suit your taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until all the vegetables are tender. Serve hot with crusty bread or crackers and cheese.
I use this recipe as a Passage Soup, prepared before we leave the dock, knowing I'm not usually up for much for cooking or galley work the first couple of days on a passage. You can use your imagination and substitute chicken chunks for ground meat; add peas or green beans in addition to or in place of carrots. Out of tomato sauce...substitute catsup. It always tastes good.