The essence of a classic American cheeseburger is faithfully recreated in a delicious cheesey beef and vegetable soup.
Researching online for a good cheeseburger soup recipe quickly becomes frustrating. The concept is appealing in its novelty but almost universally executed very poorly, including ingredients and flavors in no way associated with the classic commercial cheeseburger: a mirepoix of carrots and celery? basil and thyme? potatoes, garlic and chives? These may all be appropriate for a wonderful cheese and potato soup but such is not the goal here.
Properly conceptualized, a soup version of a cheeseburger should not vary too much from those constituent ingredients that compose the standard restaurant cheeseburger. Ground sirloin forms the beef patty, enhanced with complimentary flavors of beef broth and a touch of Worcestershire. Tomatoes, onion and dill pickles round out the toppings analogue along with a little ketchup and mustard for characteristic condiment flavor.
Cheddar cheese is used as the primary base, thickened with a simple roux of flour and milk. The type of cheese is as variable as that used for the sandwich meal, although tradition would call for Cheddar or American over the flavors of Parmesan or Gorgonzola. (An Irish white cheddar would certainly improve the color of the final presentation.) Unconventional for such a soup, shredded romaine is added at the finish for a fresh textural crunch.
Dice sesame-seed buns into squares and toast for use as croutons. Serve topped with crumbled bacon, chopped green onion and corn chips on the side.
1 lb ground sirloin
1 yellow onion
14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
2 T dill pickle relish
4 oz Cheddar cheese
2-4 leaves romaine lettuce
2 c beef broth
2 c chicken stock
1 c milk
¼ c flour
1 T ketchup
1 t yellow mustard
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 Sauté the sirloin in a little oil over medium heat until browned, about 5 min.
2 Chop the onion and add to the beef, cooking until soft, another 5 min.
3 Stir in the flour until incorporated. Work in the stock and broth until thickened.
4 Add the tomatoes, relish and seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 min.
5 Grate the cheese and add along with the milk, stirring to melt and incorporate. Roughly chop the lettuce and add to finish.