“The wonderful thing about soup is that it’s easy to make, it tastes good and you can make a lot of it to last all week.” That was me talking to my friend the other night after we had a delicious dinner of soup and my homemade Southern style cornbread.
I’ve talked about my cornbread recipe before. You’ll find it on our Recipes Page. I did make some alterations. Making little changes to meet your circumstances is part of the fun of cooking. This time, we had some leftover buttermilk in the refrigerator, so I used that for the milk in the recipe. It added a little, barely perceptible tang. And since we didn’t have any bacon, I just used olive oil. It worked just fine.
Also in the refrigerator, in the freezer section, was a package of ground beef that had been there for a month or so. Food in the freezer usually doesn’t last forever. Most things can stay in the freezer for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. But once you get over six months, you run the risk of most foods suffering from freezer burn and other problems. There are fluctuations in the temperature, power and content, all of which can affect the freezer’s conditions which affects the food stored there, even when you do all the right things to protect them.
As usual, we also had a few other basics in the pantry: potatoes, green pepper, celery, low-fat milk, flour, chicken broth and onions. So, with just a couple of things from the store, I had all the making of Cheeseburger Soup.
In addition to what I had on hand I had to pick up at the store a carrot, a block of cheddar cheese and a container of light sour cream. Here’s the total ingredient list:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups (about 6 of seven medium) potatoes, cubed
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups cubed cheddar cheese (3/4 of a 16 oz. chunk)
- 1-1/2 cups low-fat milk
- 1/4 cup light sour cream
- After preparing all your ingredients, put a stock pot or other large pot on medium heat. Add a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Stir in beef until it starts to brown then add in the onion, green pepper and carrot. Stir occasionally until vegetables are soft and beef is fully cooked.
- Add the broth, potatoes and spices (note that there’s no salt added, there’s plenty in the broth and cheese). Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- In a separate bowl or a glass measuring cup, melt the 3 tablespoons butter or heat 3 tablespoons olive oil, then stir in the flour creating a roux. Stir in the milk and blend until smooth.
- Gradually add the milk mixture into the soup, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil then reduce heat again to a simmer. Once the soup settles down, stir in the cheese and keep stirring until it’s mostly melted into the soup. Add the sour cream and stir until smooth and heated through, do not allow it to boil.
- Serve with a green salad and maybe some crusty bread or corn bread.
Be sure you taste this before you serve it. As mentioned, my recipe doesn’t use any extra salt, but you may find it too bland. This produces at least 8 hearty bowls with about 28 grams of fat and 22 grams of carbohydrate. That’s why I like to pair it with just a little bread and a nice salad. Keep the fat content low by using the olive oil instead of butter, you won’t notice any taste difference.
This soup is good enough to eat all week long. Make plenty of salad. It makes for a very satisfying meal in The Bachelor’s Kitchen.