Friday, March 30, 2012

Freezer Meals Day 5- Cheeseburger Soup

It's called Cheeseburger Soup but it has a little twist to it.  I wasn't totally blown over with this one, but the kids really liked it.  I'm going to make it a little differently next time, just to make it easier.  I like the toss it it, boil it down and scarf soups.  So I am going to try to simplify it just a bit.  I'll have my notes at the bottom.

My Mother-in-law made this one using gluten free flour and said that it worked great.  So those of you gluten free-ers out there, give this one a try!

Cheeseburger Soup

1/2 lb. ground beef        
4 cups potatoes, diced                                  
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup carrots, shredded    (I sliced baby carrots)                         
16 oz Sliced American cheese                                                                
3/4 cup celery, diced                                      
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 tsp dried basil                                               
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes                              
4 TBSP butter, Divided   
1 box chicken broth  
Salt and Pepper to taste                            
sour cream (as a garnish)

In a 3 quart saucepan, brown beef; drain & set aside.  In the same saucepan saute' onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 TBSP butter until veggies are tender, about 8 minutes.  Add broth, potatoes & 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.  Add to soup; bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to low.  Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese melts.  Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream.  8 LARGE servings.

Cool soup, Pour into gallon or quart sized freezer bags. Label and date. Lay them flat on a cookie sheet to freeze flat, so that it's easier to stack in your freezer.    To Thaw, fun under hot water, and heat over the stove or in the microwave.  You can also toss it in the crock pot on low (from frozen) and let it sit for about 8 hours.

MY NOTES:  Next time I would just steam the vegetables (and the one tbsp of butter) and about a half cup of water in a smaller pot or skillet.  Make your "roux"  the flour and butter in your larger pot.  Melt butter and add flour.  Whisk to a paste, and cook for 1 minute. Then add milk. Stir and cook until thickened. Then add the rest of the ingredients. cook for another 8-10 minutes to get the veggies nice and tender and marry the flavors.  also, season your meat with salt and pepper when you are browning it.  It will give it a better flavor.

ONE MORE THING:  Always Always Always label your freezer meals.  So many times I've said "I'll remember what that is" when tossing leftovers in the freezer.... yep, did you know that they don't looked the same after about a week in the freezer? 

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