Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cheeseburger Soup!

I'm a soup lover by nature who can be caught indulging in steamy bowls of vegetable, potato or Italian soups even in the middle of an August heatwave.  To me it is the ultimate comfort food.

I scrawled this Cheeseburger Soup recipe down several years ago out of one of my mom's old cookbooks.  The hubs loves cheeseburgers and I love potato soup so it was a win-win.

Since "we're" on a diet, I tried to lighten it up a little by using extra lean ground beef, low fat milk and 2% milk Velveeta.

OK, am I the only one surprised to find that even though it's processed cheese, it still has milk as the main ingredient?  o_O  Another reason to love the stuff.  I used regular Velveeta here, but I am going to try it with Mexican Velveeta next time.  Their new queso blanco flavor looks yummy too.

I don't have many tips for making this soup other than you'll cut your cooking time down by using thawed hash browns and thinly slicing your veggies.  We like to serve it with buttery croutons to get the full cheeseburger effect.  Other last minute stir-ins might be shredded lettuce or diced tomato. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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3/4 lb lean ground beef
3/4 c onion, finely diced
3/4 c carrots, finely diced
3/4 c celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp McCormick hamburger seasoning
4 c hash browns, thawed
3-4 c chicken broth
3 Tbsp butter
1/4 c flour
8 oz Velveeta, cubed
1 1/2 c milk
salt and pepper to taste
Optional toppings- buttered croutons, shredded lettuce, tomatoes

1.  Brown beef in large pot, drain and remove from skillet.  In the same skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil and saute carrots, onions, celery, garlic, basil and parsley about 10 minutes or until tender.  (I prefer to saute my veggies in a little chicken broth instead of oil.)
2.  Once veggies are softened, add hamburger seasoning, hash browns, beef and enough broth to cover it all.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender (10-15 minutes).  Cooking times depend on veggie sizes.
3.  Meanwhile, in another pan over medium heat, melt butter.  Add flour and cook and stir until bubbly (about 5 minutes).  Whisk in milk and continue to cook and stir until thickened.  It will be a gravy like consistency.  Be careful not to let it boil.
4.  Add thickened milk and Velveeta to soup.  Once cheese has melted, taste and season with salt and pepper. 



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