Because, honestly, if I come across a recipe that looks wonderful but is super labor intensive and laden with a mountain of ingredients I am immediately turned off. And I either look to see how I can make it more simple, or I skip it all together.
Some of you super skilled people out there could probably figure out, at a glance, what could be ditched here in this recipe.
Three items I recommend keeping, though, are the condiments. Holy cow, they make this soup! They make it taste just like a cheeseburger! Also, this recipe makes a ton. Feel free to pair it down if you are not feeding a crowd.
This is what I made on Christmas Eve for a little family get together at my house.
Bacon, Ranch, Cheeseburger Soup
-2 lbs. hamburger
-12 oz. mild Italian sausage
-1 lb. thick cut bacon
-1 packet Ranch seasoning mix
- ½ c. carrots (chopped fine in a food processor)
- ½ c. celery (chopped fine in a food processor)
- 1 medium sweet onion (chopped fine in a food processor)
-64 oz. chicken broth
-3 cloves garlic (minced)
-2 c. potato flakes
-1 pint whipping cream
-8 oz. sharp cheddar (shredded)
-16 oz. Velveeta (cubed)
-hamburger dill pickle slices
-ketchup & mustard
Spread bacon out evenly on layers of paper towels, cover with another paper towel, and microwave on high for ~ 12 minutes (depending on how crispy you like your bacon). Meanwhile brown the hamburger and sausage in a large skillet. After the meat is completely cooked drain it. Add packet of Ranch seasoning mix to the drained meat, stir until well combined, and then transfer meat to a large (6 quart) slow cooker. When the bacon is done, chop into small pieces, and transfer to the slow cooker with the burger.
Next, in a large stock pot (rubbed with a bacon grease soaked paper towel); add the carrots, celery, and onion. Sweat the vegetables for about 15 minutes. Add all of the chicken broth and garlic (bring to a soft boil). Turn heat down to medium low. Add whipping cream and potato flakes. After the potato flakes and cream are well incorporated and the temperature is back to a soft simmer add the cheese (about 1 cup at a time, allowing melting between each addition). When all cheese is incorporated add mixture to the meat in the slow cooker. Stir well to combine (the slow cooker will be very full). Turn the slow cooker on low or warm to keep soup warm. Watch the soup so it does not boil, you don’t want it to break.
To serve: ladle a serving into a large bowl and top with a drizzle of ketchup, a drizzle of mustard, and a couple of pickles. EAT!!!