It’s a bright, cold New Year’s Eve morning, the perfect time and weather to start a nice pot of soup!
And what a soup – ground beef, veggies, beef stock, potatoes, and cheese (well, ok, Velveeta*) all combined with a nicely spiced white sauce made from a roux made in the ‘wave. Top it off with a spoonful or two of good dill relish, and mebbe some freshly steamed asparagus, and you have a meal fit for any occasion, even the closing of the old year and the opening of the new!
•1 lb Ground beef
•2 cups onion, diced
•2 cups celery, chopped
•1 tsp dried basil
•1 tsp dried parsley
•1 tbsp butter
•32 oz beef or chicken stock
•4 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
•8 oz Velveeta,* sliced
•1 tbsp yellow mustard (like French’s)
•3/4 tsp seasoned salt
•1/2 tsp Tellicherry (black) pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•5 tbsp butter
•4 tbsp flour
•1 cup milk
•1 cup heavy cream
•1/2 tsp hot sauce
•1/2 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp Tellicherry pepper
•Dill pickle relish
•Steamed fresh asparagus
*Like the sound of the soup, but not so pleased with using processed cheese food? No worries! You can make your own creamy melting cheese with real cheese, boiling water, powdered milk, and gelatin! Check out the details, here.
Back to the soup…
Brown the ground beef in a large pot, then drain and set aside.
Melt the tablespoon of butter in the pot, then add the onion, celery, basil, and parsley, and sauté for ten minutes.
Add the stock, potatoes, and the cooked ground beef.
Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for until the potatoes are fork-tender, between ten and fifteen minutes.
While the soup is simmering, now’s a good time to make the roux and the white sauce.
Slice the butter and add to a ‘wave-safe bowl (an eight cup measure works a treat, here) with the flour.
‘Wave on high for one minute, remove and whisk, then ‘wave on high for another minute, remove, and whisk until smooth.
Combine the milk with the cream and slowly whisk into the roux.
Back into the ‘wave for one minute, then another good whisk. Repeat in one minute increments until the white sauce is smooth and thick and creamy, then add the hot sauce, salt, and pepper to taste.
There you go; roux and white sauce made with no muss and little fuss.
Once the potatoes are tender, ladle out a bit of the hot soup stock and whisk into the white sauce until smooth – I took about three ladles – then add the thinned white sauce to the soup pot along with the sliced cheese and yellow mustard.
Stir to blend, then cover the pot and cook over low heat until the cheese is melted.
Taste, and add the salt, Tellicherry, and Aleppo peppers and warm for a few more minutes.
We had ours with a nice spoonful of chunky dill relish, and asparagus on the side, but if I’d thought ahead, those pumpernickel croutons would’ve been a very good thing.
As it happened, we had leftover soup and asparagus, and the combination of the two was also a very good thing.
Home made soup, and not too, too much trouble in the making – that’s the way to start a new year!