December 11, 2010

Cheesy Hamburger Soup

This soup is hearty, creamy, and delicious!  I usually make a double batch and freeze it so I can reheat it whenever I want.  It is really easy and quick to make and I would suggest enjoying it with some warm crusty bread!

Serves:  6-8

1 lb. ground beef (I use turkey)
3/4 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. shredded carrots
3/4 c. diced celery
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried parsley
4 T. butter
5 c. chicken broth
1 c. water
4 c. peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 c. flour
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c. half and half
1 T. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/3 c. sour cream

Brown and drain beef, set aside.  In the same pot, saute onion, carrots, celery, basil, and parsley in 1 tablespoon of butter for about 10 minutes, or until veggies are soft.  Add broth, water, potatoes, and beef and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

In a small saucepan, melt remaining butter, add flour and cook for 3-5 minutes until brown and bubbly.  Add to soup and bring to a boil.  Stir well and reduce heat.  Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.  Add cheese, salt, and pepper.  Once cheese has melted and seasoning is to your taste, remove from heat and stir in sour cream.  Serve and enjoy!

Zuppa Toscana

This recipe is adapted from the Olive Garden and is so yummy!  Perfect for cold days!  I've had a number of friends request that I post it and so here it is.  Enjoy!

Serves: 6-8

1 lb. ground Italian sausage
1 1/2 t. crushed red peppers
1 large diced yellow onion
5 strips bacon, diced
2 t. minced garlic
10 c. water
5 cubes chicken bouillon (or chicken base)
1 c. heavy cream
3 large potatoes, large dice
1/2 bunch kale, sliced

Saute sausage and crushed red pepper in a large stock pot.  Drain excess fat and set aside.
In the same pan, saute bacon until crisp.  Add onions and garlic over low-medium heat for about 15 minutes or until onions are soft.

Add water and bouillon and bring to a boil.  Add potatoes and reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes.  Add cream and cook just until heated through.  Stir in sausage and kale.  Cook for another 10-15 minutes and serve.