Sunday, March 6, 2011

Adventures in Trashy Eats: Cheeseburger Soup

I'm a big believer in whole food and ingredients that don't take a doctorate in chemistry to understand, but sometimes, my '80s middle-class, white bread, Midwestern-meets-Southern upbringing comes out and I make something with more "cream of" soups in it than can possibly be good for you, such as this recipe for Cheeseburger Soup. Eaten in moderation, you can indulge every now and then. I'm also compensating for the huge amount of salt in the soups by not adding a lot of it anywhere else, and getting products that are low/no salt. You can also use low/no fat soups and Velveeta.

Trashy Eats Cheeseburger Soup
1 - 1.5 pound(s) of hamburger
1 medium sweet onion, chopped fine
1 can cream of onion condensed soup
1 can cream of chicken condensed soup
2 cans cheddar cheese condensed soup
32 oz. unsalted chicken stock
1 - 2 cans petite diced unsalted tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 pound Velveeta, cubed
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
Salt free seasoning mix (like Ms. Dash)
2 - 3 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat butter or oil for five minutes. Add onions and a pinch of salt and sweat the onions until they are translucent. Season the hamburger with salt, pepper and seasoning mix, and add to the skillet, breaking the meat up well and cooking until just browned. Add the Worchestershire sauce and allow most of the liquid to evaporate. Set the hamburger mixture aside and turn the burner down to very low heat.

In a stock pot on the same burner, combine all four cans of condensed soup and whisk gently to combine. SLOWLY add the chicken stock, whisking gently to incorporate. (DO NOT add all the stock at one time, or you will end up with a lumpy soup!) When the condensed soup mixture has taken all the stock, add the tomatoes, ketchup and beef mixture. Return heat to medium and allow it to simmer for half an hour.

After half an hour, remove the soup from the heat and add in the cubed Velveeta, stirring well. Return the soup to the heat and keep stirring until the Velveeta has completely melted.

Serve immediately with bread or yeast rolls, sweet gherkin pickles, and lettuce, if you like. I like to have the leftovers with basmati rice.

Serves: Lots.

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