Here’s a delicious 30-minute recipe that lives up to its name. Classic Cheeseburger Soup tastes just like a gooey-cheesey, drive-in cheeseburger. JUST.LIKE… seriously.
The base infuses beef broth, tomato paste, and creamy melted cheese. Then just the right amount of mustard, ketchup and diced tomatoes add the perfect complexity to mimic the All-American Cheeseburger. Chunky potatoes and ground beef make this hearty and filling.
For this soup, toppings are key to finish off the experience. You can really go crazy and “have it your way”, just like when you order a specialty custom burger. Pickles are a must trust me as well as croutons or crostinis. Because every great burger needs some crunchy pickles. The croutons (why not make your own?) stand in for a burger’s golden bun. But why stop there? How about some crunchy bacon, black olives, diced onions or even a touch of bleu cheese crumbles?
The soup needed a few changes from my first run-through so I’ve made sure the soup is creamy but with enough juice for every bite. I added some dried basil to give the soup that perfectly seasoned burger flavor, and if you have fresh basil on hand, add that as a topping at the end as well.
Of course, let’s talk about the cheese, the key element in this soup. You can use a few options here as well. Regular medium cheddar works, but to REALLY get that diner, drive-in or dive 😉 flavor… use Velveeta or American Cheese slices. If you want to ramp up the vegetables in the soup, you could add some mushrooms into the soup or toss a handful that you freshly saute’ for yet another topping. Add cauliflower when you cook the potatoes and beef. Or even a handful of kale during the last minutes of heating.
As I mentioned, croutons are a must, but why not quickly make your own while the soup is simmering? Here I’ve sliced a small baguette; broiled one side until golden. Then flip them over, brush with a nice olive oil, some dried basil and shredded Parmesan before popping back in the oven to brown the other side. Serve the slices for dunking or rough-cut them into large croutons to float on top of the soup.
Classic Cheeseburger Soup is sure to become a regular for your family or for any get-together. Did I mention it’s ready in 30 minutes? And did I also say enough that it tastes just like a classic drive-in cheeseburger? Try it for yourself and let me know what clever toppings you come up with.
- 1 teaspoon light oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- ½ cup celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (may substitute corn starch for gluten-free option)
- 5 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
- 2 medium potatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, do not drain
- Cheese - select one of these 3 options: 10 ounces Velveeta, cut into 6 pieces, or 14 slices American cheese slices, or 10 ounces medium cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard (may substitute for regular mustard)
- 1½ cups whole milk
- Assorted condiments: Pickles, diced fresh onions or scallions, black or green olives, crispy-cooked bacon crumbles, more shredded cheese (try bleu cheese), fresh tomatoes
- Croutons or homemade crostinis, to simulate a classic bun
- Add teaspoon of oil to bottom of a large pot. Heat to medium and add onions, celery and garlic. Cook about 2 minutes to release flavors. Add ground beef and continue to cook until meat is browned. Drain fat.
- Sprinkle the dried basil over beef mixture and then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over as well; cook and stir 2 minutes. Stir in broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Stir in diced tomatoes, cheese, tomato paste, ketchup and mustard. Cook and stir until cheese melts and soup comes to a gentle boil. Stir in milk and heat through.
- Serve with desired condiments.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens special publications.