Crave: A winning game day soup

photo by: Mother Earth News

Soup is a great way to warm up on a cold day. Try these two recipes, each loaded with potatoes, as well as a recipe for homemade bread bowls.


Game Day Cheeseburger Soup

Sure to satisfy hearty appetites, this meat-and-potato-lovers soup is topped with gooey cheddar cheese. Yields 6 servings.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

1 cup chopped onion

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon beef base

4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes

1 cup diced carrots

1 large bay leaf

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups whole milk, divided

1⁄4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, plus more for garnish

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish

2 tablespoons butter

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook ground beef, onion, black pepper and beef base until beef is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

2. In a stockpot over medium-high heat, bring potatoes, carrots and bay leaf to a boil in just enough water to cover potatoes. Cover, and lightly boil for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and 1 cup milk until smooth. Add milk and flour mixture to stockpot with potatoes. Reduce heat to low, and add remaining 2 cups milk and parsley. Cover, and cook on low until soup thickens, about 10 minutes.

4. Add beef, cheeses, butter and salt, and cook on low heat, stirring, until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.

5. Garnish with parsley and cheese.


Loaded Baked Potato Soup

All the classic flavors of a loaded baked potato are included in one bowl of this comforting soup. Yields 6 servings.

Ingredients:

1⁄2 cup diced onion

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups chicken broth

5 cooked peeled potatoes, cut into small cubes

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

Dash black pepper

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish

1 cup cream

1 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried

8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled, divided

Fresh chives, for garnish

Directions:

1. In a stockpot over medium-low heat, sauté onion in butter until tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Add chicken broth, potatoes, salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 8 minutes.

3. Add cheeses, cream, milk, parsley and half of bacon, and stir to combine. Cover, and cook until cheeses have melted.

4. Garnish with fresh chives, shredded cheddar cheese and remaining bacon.


Bread Bowls

Kick your soups up a notch by serving them in a homemade bread bowl. Yields 6 bowls.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

1 3/4 cups warm water, 105 to 110

1 tablespoon melted butter

1/4 cup buttermilk or whole milk

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups whole-wheat white flour

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to bread machine, in order, according to your machine’s instructions. Run on dough cycle.

Alternatively, mix dough by hand: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, milk, and yeast mixture, and beat on low speed with a handheld mixer until thoroughly blended, about 2 minutes. Add sugar, salt and 1 cup whole-wheat flour, and mix on medium speed until well-blended, about 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add remaining flour in 1⁄2 cup increments, until all flour is added; dough will become stiff.

Dump dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead for 6 to 8 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. Add flour to work surface if dough begins to stick.

Place dough in a large greased bowl, turn one time, and cover with a dish towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

2. When dough is ready, divide equally into 6 balls. Roll out each ball to 11⁄2-inch thickness. Let dough rise for 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 375 F. Transfer dough to a baking sheet, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden-brown.

4. Once cool, hollow out the center of each bowl for soup. Save cut out bread for other uses, such as to make croutons.

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