I watched Diners, Drive-ins and Dives once where they actually put lettuce and tomato in their cheeseburger soup. I haven't done that yet, but I'm thinking it might be a tasty garnish on top of each bowl. Try it if you wish.
1 lb ground beef
1 diced onion
1-2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, grated
1 zucchini, grated
1 bag frozen hash browns
32 oz broth- (or more) I've used beef and chicken and like both
2 cups milk (or half and half, or whipping cream if you hate your arteries and only think of your tastebuds. Not gonna lie, it's amazing that way, but I hardly ever do it.)
2ish cups of shredded cheese- I usually use sharp or mild cheddar, but I've used velveeta and smoked gouda and mozzarella and whatever else I have handy
1/2 cup sour cream
spices to taste- I use seasoned salt, pepper, basil, and mrs. dash
Also, I made this soup for over a year before it occurred to me that bacon would improve this a great deal. Because really, when does bacon NOT improve a dish? Throw in a few slices if you've got it.
Brown beef with onion and celery. Add other veggies, spices, and broth and simmer for about 15-20 minutes til it's all hot. The frozen potatoes take a little longer but it gives the carrots a chance to cook too. If you're adding the bacon, you can cook it and add during this time too.
Add milk next and give it time to warm before adding the cheese. Then cheese- stir it in slowly so it won't get all clumpy. You want it incorporated in cheesy saucy deliciousness. If it's super thick you can add more broth or milk.
Right before serving, stir in the sour cream, or if you prefer you can put a dollop on each individual bowl. The lettuce and tomato might work nicely too if you go that route.
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