We had a cold, dreary, rainy weekend. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing like a cool spring day with occasional drizzle. It seems to make everything greener and I really like green. It always feels like these are winters last try before the hazy days of summer are upon us here in Oklahoma. I always cherish these days to eat the last of the winter soups before I tuck them away into the recipe box until October.
On Saturday, I hosted a garden swap. That's when I dig and divide all my plants and set them out for others to come and give them new homes. I feel like they are my little children that I am sending out into the world! We had a good time, ate lots of chocolate and other snacks and gabbed like we hadn't seen each other in months and months! When in actuality, we mostly saw each other Wednesday night at church!
After church on Sunday, the family decided that we needed to eat soup for dinner. I had planned a frittata but I moved it back on the menu and inserted a cheeseburger soup. I needed to big batch cook some hamburger anyway. Some people tell me that they can't menu plan because they don't know what they will 'feel like eating' on any certain day. I usually tell them that by the time they figure out what they 'feel like', go shopping for the ingredients and actually prepare the meal, they will be too tired to eat it? Menu planning doesn't mean that you can't move things around on the calendar, it means that you have a plan for at least the next week and have the ingredients on hand. Meal planning is kind of like laying out your clothes the night before, it saves you thought on days when you can't decide. No, we aren't eating what is on the calendar on Sunday, that just means that I have an extra meal to insert on another night!
I make this soup in my slow cooker but I will give the directions for stove top cooking. If you have a slow cooker, you can use that also. I also am pretty loose with the measurements on the meat, veggies and broth.
1/2 to 1 pounds hamburger, cooked and drained
3/4 to 1 cups chopped onion
3/4 to 1 cups chopped carrots
3/4 to 1 cups chopped celery
1 teasp. dried basil
1 teasp. dried parsley
4 tablespoons butter, DIVIDED
3 to 5 cups chicken broth
4 to 6 cups diced potatoes
1/4 to 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups diced Velveeta, can be low fat
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teasp. salt
1/2 teasp. pepper
1/4 cup sour cream, can be low fat
Saute the onion, celery, carrots, parsley and basil in 1 tablespoon butter - I microwave this. Place cooked and drained ground beef, the sauted veggies, broth and potatoes into a 3 quart pan and simmer until the potatoes are tender. I will mash these occasionally on the side of the pan to make the soup thicker.
If the soup is not thick enough, this step will thicken it. If mashing the potatoes are enough, just leave the flour step out. If you are cooking in a slow cooker, be skimpy on the broth and you can skip this step. In a small skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add the flour, cook and stir constantly for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly. Add it to the soup slowly while stirring. Continue stirring for about 2 minutes. Then add the cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.
This makes about 8 servings. I serve it with wheat rolls and a fruit salad. This soup will freeze if there is any leftover. I don't have to worry about that!