Cheeseburger Soup ☆

I was introduced to cheeseburger soup at the Barkley Restaurant in South Pasadena, CA, sometime in the early 1990s, just after the old Crossbow Restaurant had been purchased by long-time Los Angeles radio and television host Roger Barkley. It was a memorable experience and I treated myself to it many times thereafter. Regrettably, both Roger and the Barkley are no longer with us.

The soup has been around so long that I have been unable, so far, to trace its origins. But it is a tried and tested favorite that you can rely on time and time again, even though each chef who has ever made one seems to have his own variation.

On becoming deprived of it after moving to Carlsbad, CA, in 2000, I began making my own version. Cheese soup and stew recipes in various guises are also presented elsewhere in this series. The one presented here is ostensibly the classic recipe, but with ingredients that better accommodate my own dietary guidelines. Even so, I think you will find this a delectable addition to your winter menu.

  • 1 oz olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground lean beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 stalk celery, diced fine
  • 1 bottle of lite beer
  • 4 cups unsalted beef broth
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1 lb Velveeta® Original Prepared Cheese Product, cubed
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • gravy flour, for thickening
  • ½ cup green onion, chopped

Sauté the ground beef, chopped onion, carrots, and celery in the oil in a 3 quart pan over a medium heat. Stir and separate the beef particles with a steel spatula to prevent them from sticking to the pan and to make the soup less lumpy. Cook this mixture until it is browned all over. Remove from the pan and set aside, as we will use the same pan again.

Add the beer and broth to the pan, along with the mustard, black pepper, parsley, and cheeses. Bring up the heat and simmer until the cheese has just melted, stirring continually. Add the sour cream and bring the heat almost to a simmer.

If the soup seems thin, add gravy flour to a little water, add, and stir until thickened. Conversely, if the soup seems too thick, add a little water until correct.

Ladle the soup into individual colorful bowls and serve with corn tortilla chips (scoop style preferred).

Makes about 12 cups.