Here goes. I’ve been trying to figure out how to start this post for weeks…… and trying to make the soup for even longer. The latter making me a slack wife, because my husband has been asking for it ever since Guy Fieri mercilessly taunted him with one spoonful after another of creamy, yellow, cheesy (dah) cheeseburger soup from some hole-in-the-wall place in Western NY. I’ve attempted to dissect my resistance and have a number of hypotheses…..it epitomizes the gluttony of the Western diet, I embarrassed to make something that conjures words like “super-size” and “value meal”, I’m pretentious, how do I explain myself if I like it and finally the fact that it requires Velveeta. Ultimately, none of these matter because if I believe food is about making people feel good and my husband would enjoy this, I want to embrace his request. And I can accumulate “good wife” points!
He’s been traveling (again) so I thought this would be, not a surprise, but a shock, to welcome him home. I didn’t dare stray from the basic ingredients in the Food Network episode. The actual recipe is not available, but if you watch the episode you can glean what you need. I made a few tweaks (very minor…I wouldn’t dare jeopardize the delicious flavor combinations) and soon had a working recipe. Although, there was a mini “Battle of the Cheeses” waged in the grocery as I first deposited the Velveeta in the basket, then retrieved it out and replaced it with our beloved Black Diamond Cheddar and so back and forth we danced (me vs. me) until I succumbed to Velveeta. With all my posturing, you know it’s the Velveeta that makes this dish for anyone who is actually craving Cheeseburger Soup.
I couldn’t get passed not having any bread with cheeseburger anything, so keeping with the welcome home theme, I lightly toasted and buttered my husband’s favorite sweet, soft, potato rolls then cut them into dice-size croutons, dressed with a sprinkle of hamburger seasoning and garnished plopped them on the soup. I ended up with a very contented husband and a cache of points (wonder if I’ve accumulated enough for a new bag or fancy pot??? Honey…are you there?). The soup itself was remarkably identical to a cheeseburger albeit on a spoon. I swear it wasn’t gross, not even remotely so. We were in disbelief. Completely dumbfounded. My husband sent texts to all his friends proclaiming its awesomeness and promising my services to recreate it over and over again. About this time fear started to set in…..I really DON’T want to be known as the Cheeseburger Soup Lady. Admittedly, between me and me (and you) it was good. I liked it. I mean, really liked it. I wouldn’t want it on a regular basis, but its fun and definitely a showstopper for many a men I’m sure.
Inspired by an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
We went all out and served it alongside crispy homemade oven fries with huge squirts of ketchup and sea salt. I envision this being a fun soup for a Superbowl party or maybe a kid’s slumber party….neither of which have any likelihood of occurring at my house, but maybe at yours.
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter
- 1 TBSP vegetable oil
- 2 cups yellow onion (about 1 large), medium chop
- 1 lb grass fed ground beef (85% lean / 15% fat)
- 3 cups homemade chicken stock
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 lb Velveeta, medium dice
- 1 TBSP yellow mustard
- 3 oz green leaf lettuce, coarsely chopped
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
- 3 tsp (divided) Flat Irons Prime Rib Rub from Savory Spice Shop (or your favorite hamburger seasoning)
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 hamburger size potato roll for garnishing
- Heat vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet (I used a 12”) over medium-high heat.
- Add the beef. Begin breaking up the meat into smaller bite-sized pieces.
- Season with ½ tsp salt and 2 tsp hamburger seasonings.
- Stir meat to ensure uniform browning. It’s done when no pink remains. To confirm, break a larger piece in half and if any pink is revealed on the inside you need to cook it a bit longer. This should take no longer than 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the browned meat to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside for later.
- In a Dutch oven (I used a 6.75 quart) melt butter over medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent (8-10 minutes).
- Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
- Add the Velveeta and yellow mustard. Reduce heat to low and stir frequently.
- Once most of the “cheese” has melted, add the cooked beef, tomatoes, ½ tsp pepper, 1 tsp hamburger seasoning and the half and half. Gently reheat the soup. Do not boil.
- Add lettuce and stir until wilted. About 3 minutes.
- Taste for seasonings and serve with Quick Seasoned Potato Roll Croutons.
- 1 hamburger potato roll
- unsalted butter
- Flat Irons Prime Rib Rub
- Split roll and lightly brown in a toaster.
- Butter and sprinkle with hamburger seasoning.
- Cut into cubes.
- Serves 2