This Cheeseburger Soup is the perfect comfort food for cold winter nights when you don’t feel like shoveling a path to the grill!
A few months back (sometime before Old Man Winter settled in for the long haul), I had some of my friends over for a night of debauchery and shenanigans. Oh who am I kidding? We’re guys with kids. We had burgers and beers and all left to go home and go to sleep by 10pm. But in our minds, it was definitely a night of debauchery and shenanigans!
I fired up the grill and then added the burgers – gotta love that sizzle sound! Once the burgers were almost done, I took a poll of who wanted cheese. “Pepperjack, cheddar or none?” That’s when one of my friends asked what color the cheddar cheese was. Huh? What color? I dunno….cheese color?
He then explained that he’s from the midwest, and he prefers his cheese yellow. He proceeded to explain that he avoids cheddar cheese here on the East coast since it’s white and not yellow. Ah, now his comment made more sense! But here’s the thing. White cheddar and yellow cheddar are the same exact thing. It seems common sense to assume that yellow cheddar and white cheddar have different flavors though. I mean they are different packages next to each other in the cheese case at the store. However, they’re the same thing!
All cheddar is made from cow’s milk. Since cow’s milk is naturally white, that means cheddar is naturally white or at the most very light yellow. The orange color comes from a natural additive called annatto, a flavorless plant extract from the achiote tree.
So why the different colors? Well, it turns out that it’s purely a regional preference kinda thing. In the midwest, cheddar cheese is almost always orange. In New England, cheddar cheese is almost always white. Same thing. Same flavor. The only difference is the addition of annatto. So now it makes sense why my buddy asked for orange cheddar. However, he didn’t understand that orange cheddar and white cheddar have the same exact taste. I didn’t happen to have orange cheddar on hand, so he cautiously agreed to white cheddar.
I’m pretty sure he thought I was trying to pull the wool over his eyes. (Similar to the way Robbie looks at me when I tell him that broccoli is just little trees like the dinosaurs used to eat.) However, one bite and he admitted that the cheese was indeed delicious. (I had sliced up a bar of Cabot’s Seriously Sharp.) He also seemed pleased that he would be able to buy cheddar cheese in the local grocery stores again. So where do you stand on the great cheddar debate? I personally don’t have a preference. As long as it’s a good, aged sharp cheddar cheese, I’ll be a happy camper!
Let’s switch gears slightly from cheeseburgers on the grill to this Cheeseburger Soup. After all, it’s cold outside. I’ve been known to grill in this weather, but sometimes I’m just not in the mood to shovel a path through the snow to the grill. That’s where this Cheeseburger Soup comes in. This soup is the perfect comfort food for a cold winter night! I like to call this soup a fun cross between chicken soup and cheeseburgers.
For this soup, I used chicken stock as the base (although beef stock would also work.) Next I added shaved carrots, onions, celery and potatoes. (The shaved carrots are fun since you don’t end up biting into a hard chunk of carrot.) More or less, we had a classic soup base at that point. That’s when the fun began! The tasty ground beef went back into the pot along with two types of cheese. I also used a bit of cream cheese and sour cream to add a creamy texture as well as flavor to this soup. All in all, this soup was a winner!
This Cheeseburger Soup is definitely going on the list to make again soon! Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be at the grill as much as possible, but this soup is an excellent option for those particularly cold winter nights. Stay warm, my friends!
Did you make a pot of this Cheeseburger Soup at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!
- 16 oz. lean ground beef
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 large carrots shredded
- 1 medium white onion diced
- 3 celery ribs diced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 medium Russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded ~4 oz.
- 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded ~8 oz.
- 4 oz. cream cheese cubed
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup sour cream
- chopped green onions
- Using a large pot or Dutch oven, add beef; place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is fully cooked. Drain excess fat from pot and set beef aside.
- In same pot, add olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add shredded carrots, diced onions, diced celery, garlic, basil, parsley and oregano; stir until well combined. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- Add potatoes, chicken broth and cooked ground beef; stir until well combined. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender.
- Reduce heat to low. Add cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, cream cheese, salt and pepper; stir until well combined. Cook until cheeses have fully melted.
- Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.
- Garnish with chopped green onions before serving.
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You don’t have to question not one bit if I want cheese or not. Love it! Love all types of cheese. End of story, lol. So clearly this cheeseburger soup is made for me. We have a yucky winter day here today so comfort food is in order and this hearty soup would help me warm up, that’s for sure! Pinned! P.S. staying up late is overrated anyway 😉
Yup, I’m with ya on the cheese, Dawn! More cheese all the time is my motto! This soup is seriously tasty, and it totally channels the mid-summer vibes…even if the weather outside isn’t exactly mid-summer. Thanks so much, my friend!
I read a history of cheese that said winter, hay-fed milk is whiter and considered lesser in quality than summer, grass-fed milk. Summer milk produces a yellower cheese with a higher perceived value, so clever cheesemakers started using yellow additives to their winter cheese. A resultant marketing escalation eventually produced orange cheddar, and it eventually became the norm. Crazy. But we eat first with our eyes, so I’m sympathetic with your friend. Now, pass me a toasted roll to dunk in that soup!
Interesting. That makes perfect sense about the type of feed. I haven’t heard that before, but the logic is there for the white vs. orange debate. Also, I want a toasted roll now.
little trees like the dinosaurs used to eat – hahaha! Good one!
I love both cheddars. I kind of got the hint in Dubai where they call the orange one “coloured” cheddar. So i figured they were just adding a coloring agent to it.
David, cheeseburgers have to be my favorite food so I would definitely love to dig in to this cheeseburger soup. It looks fantastic!
Haha! I personally think the ‘little trees’ thing was pretty good. Robbie didn’t buy it at all.
Coloured cheese, eh? Interesting! That doesn’t sound nearly as appetizing when you call it that. But I can promise you that this soup is quite delicious…no matter what color cheese you use! Thanks so much, Kelly!
I love Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar and I tend to usually pick the white cheese instead of yellow if I have a choice. Your soup sounds hearty and delicious and perfect for your cold weather.
Same here, Karen! We always (always!) keep a supply of Cabot’s Seriously Sharp in the fridge. I swear I could make an entire meal out of that cheese along with some crackers – in fact, I’ve done that on more than one occasion. Haha! Thanks so much, my friend!
David, as a MidWesterner, I feel the need to say, I love all cheese, no matter the color. And cheeseburger soup? Yes, please, a big bowl for me! This looks and sounds so tasty! Perfect for cold weather! Pinning!
Haha. I appreciate you chiming in with the Midwesterner vibe here, Laura. I’m with you. All cheese – all the time. I don’t care what color it is! And this soup? Oh man, it’s delicious. It totally channels summer-time flavors…even when it isn’t summer-time outside. 🙂
What a soup! And as for cheddar. Lately we have really been getting into the white coastal cheddar at Costco. Great value and flavor.Check it out! While I check out this soup!!!
Ah – Costco. Believe it or not, we don’t have a Costco here, Abbe. It’s tragic! We got hooked on Costco when we lived in Atlanta, but that was 10 years ago. But – get this – rumor has it they are building a Costco here. Yay! In other news, I highly recommend this soup. It’s SO tasty! 🙂
this sounds fabulously comforting for winter david. not really what we need here right now. it’s soooo hot and humid lately. i think our cheddar is just a pale yellow colour mostly. i guess they put a bit of colouring in it but not a lot. i’m always amazed when i see those american cooking shows with bright yellow or orange cheese:-)
Yeah, I always think about you when I’m posting these winter recipes, Sherry. But here’s the thing. I’m looking out of my window right now, and the snow is coming down. That’s soup season for sure!
And now you know more about that bright orange cheese. It’s the same thing in the flavor department – just an added coloring. Jeff’s comment above was really interesting about why the coloring gets added, too. Stay cool down there, and save this recipe for when it gets cold again!
Interesting fact about the color of cheese. I’m certain white cheddar costs a whole lot more where I live! Crazy!!! This soup sounds fabulous and what’s not to love – It’s filled with all the yummy flavors of a cheeseburger! Perfect for these cold winter days!
What!? White cheddar costs more? Same brand and everything else being equal? That’s crazy! It’s the SAME thing. 🙂 Oh well, white or yellow…this soup is fan-freakin-tastic. It totally channels the mid-summer flavors even while the snow is falling outside. Stay warm, Kathy!
This really looks good, for both children and adults! btw, it’s annato. sorry, who cares. but I’m a spelling freak.
Ah! Thanks for catching that misspelling, Mimi. I’m fixing it right now!
Cheeseburger soup eh? Well I do love a cheesy tasting soup so you can count me in with this one David! And as for broccoli being little trees dinosaurs used to eat, that’s what I tell Lynne to get her to eat her greens so don’t tell her dinosaurs didn’t exisit either!! Thanks! 😉
Hahaha! I’m cracking up that you use the dinosaur line on Lynne, too. 🙂 (Hey, whatever works!) And for the record, Lynne, dinosaurs are a real thing. We have fossils to prove it!
I am from the midwest and yes the cheddar cheese is usually yellow. Interesting to hear about the yellow and the white cheddar cheese. I have made cheeseburger soup and I really love the stuff. Your soup looks delicious.
It’s funny how different regions have different preferences…even thought the taste doesn’t change at all! Glad you love cheeseburger soup, too, Dawn – it’s delicious!
Looking forward to try this ! 😀 😋 😋 😋
I hope you enjoy this one, Mike – it’s hard to go wrong with cheeseburger anything! 🙂