Cheeseburger Soup

Ingredients:

4 slices of smoked bacon

1 lb lean ground beef

4 tablespoons of butter

1 medium onion chopped

2 celery stalks chopped

2 grated carrots

2 Yukon Gold potatoes, diced

⅛ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

2 minced garlic cloves

3 tablespoons of flour

3 cups of chicken broth

2 cups whole milk

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Brown the bacon in a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Halfway through the browning process, add the ground beef.

Cook until golden brown, breaking it up as it browns. Drain off any excess fat. Move the browned meat to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium-low; add the butter. Add onions, celery, carrots and potatoes; cook until onions and celery begin to soften.

Add dried thyme, onion powder, basil, oregano, parsley and garlic. Continue cooking for 1 minute; stirring constantly.

Sprinkle with flour and toss to coat; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and milk; alternating between the two. Simmer until the potatoes are tender.

Return the cooked beef and bacon to the pan, heating for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the grated cheddar; stirring until melted. Salt and pepper to taste.

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