You don’t have to know me long before you figure out that I have a lot on my plate. Long ago I said I would never sacrifice my family on the altar of my ministry or on the altar of anything else I believe I’m called to do. God gave me my family first.
With that priority comes a commitment to family dinners … together. Our budget doesn’t allow for many take-out meals, so we look for simple, economical, fast menu options. To be honest, some are healthier than others. We’re looking for balance here.
I could not have hot meals on the table 5-6 nights a week if it weren’t for my Crockpot. God bless whoever invented that baby. He/She was a genius!
Tuesdays are the hardest days for me because in addition to homeschooling, I call 16-30 Take Shape for Life clients who I coach, and Mike works an evening job. Hello, Crockpot!
Because all of my friends are called to different things that keep them busy, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite Crockpot recipes. I’m no Kitchen Wonder Woman. Very few of my recipes are of my own creation. I’ll try to always point you back to the original recipe, but I’ll also show you how I’ve modified the recipe to make it Crockpot friendly, healthier, etc.
Since it’s colder in Rochester, MN, today than it is on Mars or the North Pole, we are having Cheeseburger Soup today. (I found the original recipe came from here, but it was not a Crockpot version, so I’ve modified it.)
I’m cooking for 5, but 3 are teenagers, so I’ve doubled the original recipe. I also don’t like to measure everything, so I’m showing you how much I use or using creative comparisons to give you the idea.
Here’s the scoop …
- 2 pounds ground beef – Brown and set aside. When cool, put it in the fridge until you’re ready to add it to the Crockpot.
In the Crockpot, dump:
- 1 softball-sized onion – chopped
- 1 (10 oz.) bag shredded carrots
- 4 stalks of diced celery
- 2-ish teaspoons (small palm-full) dried basil
- 2-ish teaspoons (small palm-full) dried parsley flakes
- 2 boxes of chicken broth (about 10 cups)
- 8 cups peeled and diced potatoes … I used 8-10 small-medium-sized potatoes (scrub and dice leaving the skin on)
Turn your Crockpot on to low and leave it for 4-6 hours. Then add the hamburger to the soup and cook it an additional 2 hours. (There’s no exact science to this. I put mine in at 9 a.m., added hamburger at 3 in the afternoon, added last minute items at 5:45 p.m. and we ate shortly after 6 p.m.)
Here’s the deal … if you’re putting it on and going to work all day, then fry up the hamburger and put it in all day. It will be fine. I just didn’t want it getting too soggy by being in there all day, so I prefer to put it in only long enough to get hot. Do what works for you.
About 20 – 30 minutes before serving add:
- 3 cups of Velveeta processed cheese cubed
- 2 cups milk (I used skim for 1.5 and heavy cream – because I had 1/2 cup just sitting there. Use whatever you have.)
- Small palm-full of salt (1 1/2 tsp – ish)
- Pepper (Same amount as salt. We like more pepper than some people might.)
While the cheese was melting in the Crockpot, I put about 2 Tablespoons of butter in a small frying pan and melted it. Then I added a scant 1/4 cup of flour and cooked it together until bubbly. I added that to the soup as a thickener.
- Remove from heat and add 1/4 – 1/2 cup sour cream (I use fat-free, which is kind of funny with all that cheese in there. Just keepin’ it a balanced diet. LOL) Stir it in and serve.
That’s it! You could add some shredded cheese and / bacon bits as a garnish, if you’d like.
This Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup is a “stick to your ribs” kind of soup that’s perfect on these sub-zero temperature days.[Tweet “This Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup is a “stick to your ribs” meal. Perfect on -0 F days.”]
We have enough leftover to have for lunch at Cambridge Academy (our homeschool) tomorrow as well as some to share with our friends. (Daddy made homemade Artisan bread, so people didn’t eat as much soup as expected.)
The less time I spend in the kitchen, the more time I have for my family and ministry. It works for me. If it works for you, go hug your Crockpot (make sure it’s unplugged and cooled off first!), then snuggle up on the couch with your family. That’s what I’m going to do right now.