Found on Pinterest: Cheeseburger Soup

This recipe is another Pinterest find. The recipe that I originally pinned here is an adaption of a recipe from Taste of Home that can be found here.

I always enjoy reading comments of online recipes and sometimes the comments help me decide whether or not I want to try the recipe. Some of the comments for the entry on Taste of Home made me chuckle because some people were very critical of the name “Cheeseburger Soup”. One commenter wrote “This doesn’t taste like a cheeseburger at all!”

I agree that the ground beef really isn’t the star of this soup. In all honesty, it’s a creamy, cheesy potato soup with some hamburger in it. Beefy enough not just be potato soup but perhaps not beefy enough to give the cheeseburger headline credit.

There were also some complaints about the prep time. I normally never time my prep time but in this case I did and I agree with Taste of Home’s 45 minutes. The majority of the time is chopping time, and unfortunately that’s just a sacrifice you have to make for a vegetable soup like this. I used baby carrots which cut down on the peeling and chopping quite a bit.

All that aside, this is a delicious soup that I plan to make again and again. I served it with rolls but it would be perfect in a bread bowl. Some crumbled cooked bacon on top would really set this off as well.

If you look at my recipe versus the links you’ll notice some differences. I made it healthier by using lean ground beef, skim milk and mild shredded cheddar cheese instead of Velveeta as called for in the recipe. I also used less cheese than the recipe recommended and the soup was still cheesy and good.

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Cheeseburger Soup

1/2 pound ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
4 tablespoons butter, divided
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups diced peeled potatoes (1-3/4 pounds)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 oz shredded cheddar cheese plus more for topping
1-1/2 cups skim milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sour cream

In a 3-qt. saucepan, brown beef; drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, saute the onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the broth, potatoes and beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. This is what’s called preparing a “roux”. Add roux to soup; bring to a boil. The roux will immediately thicken your soup and give it a smooth texture. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream. Yield: 8 servings (2-1/4 quarts).

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Picadillo De Carne

Picadillo is a traditional Latin American dish that is very similiar to what we would call a hash. The ingredients vary by region but the common elements are ground meat and tomatoes or tomato sauce.

This recipe was given to me by a colleague who is a Spanish professor on the campus where I work. She noted that she generally adds carrots and potatoes to the dish which I did not do in my version. These ingredients are traditional in the Cuban version of the dish.

This dish will wake up your taste buds with a mixture of both sweet and salty flavors. I will admit adding raisins to a savory dish was a bit weird to me as I usually eat them alone or in desserts or cereal. However, this is very tasty and is something I would make again.

Picadillo De Carne

1/4 cup olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 1/2 pound lean ground beef

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin powder

8 oz can tomato sauce

1/2 cup raisins

2 teaspoons drained capers

1/4 cup green olives stuffed with pimentos

White rice for serving

In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the meat, seperating it into small pieces as you stir.

Add the bay leaf, salt, pepper, oregano, paprika and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Lower the heat to medium, then add the tomato sauce, raisins, capers and olives, and mix. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time, adding a small amount of water if needed to keep the mixture from becoming too dry. Serve with white rice.