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Cheeseburger Soup

Yum, yum!!! My oldest has been requesting this soup since our first cold snap a couple of weeks ago (we're back in to the 60's now but 40's is cold around here!) and I finally got around to making it for him. It's an awesome, hearty soup. Lots of ingredients, but if you get them all out and prepared before you start it is a very easy soup to make. Enjoy :)

You will need:1/2 lb ground beef (most people like more, including us)
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots (I couldn't find them in my store so I chopped mine up)
3/4 cup diced celery
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried parsley flakes
4 T. butter (divided)
3 c. chicken broth
4 c. diced peeled potatoes (1.75 lbs)
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
8 oz. process American cheese, cubed (2 cups)
1 1/2 c. milk
3/4 t. salt
1/4-1/2 t. pepper

I start by browning my ground beef. This time I didn't because I already had some cooked in the freezer. This is just to thaw it out and break it up.
Peel and cut up potatoes (I think I used 7 Idaho potatoes here)
Cut up onion, carrots (if you don't have shredded), and celery
Saute the veggies in 1 T butter along with the dried herbs until tender, about 10 minutes.
Then add in the broth (I didn't measure -- just used the entire box), potatoes, and beef. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender. If you are going to do like I will with this soup this time, it is not necessary to simmer as everything will go into the crockpot for a couple of hours when I'm done and they will cook there. Do simmer if you're planning on eating in the next 30 minutes.The following is my attempt at a roux. I just can't figure it out. The recipes always says 'stir until bubbly' but mine always end up like this. But that's o.k. -- it seems to work regardless. The recipe reads "In a small skillet melt remaining butter then add flour; cook & stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly." Well, anyway, cook this up and add it to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil and stir for two minutes. It will thicken nicely.
Then reduce heat to low and add cheese, milk, salt, and pepper.
Actually, I didn't add the cheese at this point because I was going to put the entire soup in the crockpot to simmer for a few hours so I cubed the cheese up and put it in there.
I poured the soup from the pot on the stove into my crockpot, set it on low, put a lid on it and let it sit there for a few hours. When we got home (late) we pulled out some bread, cut it up, served the soup. . .delish!Wish I would have gotten a picture with Thomas and his empty bowl :)

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