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Friday, February 6, 2015

Cheeseburger Soup

Though I've eaten it many times, I don't often cook cheeseburger soup. Usually Yaya makes it as it's one of my brother's favorite meals. The last time she made it Aaron came to dinner with me and he liked the soup so much that I think he would have licked the bowl if we hadn't been at Yaya's house.

Bailey loves this soup as well and I love feeding it to her because it's full of vegetables that she would usually turn her nose up at. (The same reason I like feeding her beef stew and chicken pot pie soup.) She will eat a whole bowl of this soup by herself and then steal bites from my bowl as well.

I don't know what the weather is like in your area, but it's pretty cold here in east Tennessee. At least that's what the weather man says, but weather in east Tennessee is like a roller coaster anyway. Tennesseans have been joking for years about how you can get sunburn and frostbite in the same week here. It's true sometimes. I much prefer cold weather. (I know, I live in the wrong state for that.)  Honestly though, I'm hot any time it's over 70 degrees outside.

I usually don't like to make soup until it's cold out, but sometimes when I check the weather forecast and plan for soup the cold air comes through sooner than expected and I wind up serving soup on a spring weather day.

This soup is so easy and comes together so fast. I use the same method I always use with soups. I chop all of the veggies and set them aside before I ever turn the stove on. Lean ground beef and fresh vegetables simmer in chicken broth until the vegetables are soft. This recipe has a cheese sauce similar to the one I make for Cheesy Taco Soup. At the last minute you stir in some sour cream (I use plain, nonfat Greek yogurt) and serve with bread or crackers. It's really a wonderful meal.

Cheeseburger Soup

Source: Yaya

1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 onion, diced (I substituted about 1/2 tsp onion powder this time)
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4-5 medium potatoes, diced
2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, diced (optional, I've actually never used them and neither does Yaya but it's in Yaya's official recipe)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
8 oz (about 2 cups) cheddar cheese, shredded (melts better if you shred it yourself)
1/4 cup sour cream (or plain, nonfat Greek yogurt)
crackers or bread for serving

Honestly, you should begin by dicing up all the vegetables and mixing them together in a medium-large mixing bowl.

Brown the ground beef in a large soup pot over medium heat. (If you beef is really lean you may want to spray the pot with vegetable oil spray.)

Once the meat is cooked through and no longer pink add the onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, and jalapenos. Cook until the onion begins to become translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, cumin, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are cooked through.

In a separate medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted add the flour and whisk until combined.

Pour in the milk and cook, whisking frequently if not constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 4-5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.

Stir until the cheese is all melted and the sauce is smooth.

Once the vegetables are cooked remove the soup from the heat and pour in the cheese sauce. Stir until combined. Just before serving stir in the sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Serve immediately with bread or crackers.

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