A tale of cheeseburger soup

Cheeseburger soup is a good substitute for chili. (Submitted photo)

Cheeseburger soup is a good substitute for chili. (Submitted photo)

Commentary by Joe Drozda and Bob Bley

For those of you that have read “The Tailgater’s Handbook” (first edition) you might remember this story. While traversing the Big Giver’s Parking Lot at Penn State way back in 1995, a lady hailed us to offer a bowl of her soup. It was “life changing!”  She called the soup Lost Cheeseburger Soup, and it tasted exactly like a country club cheeseburger. It was beefy, cheesy, chewy and just plain delicious. It was so good and has garnered so many favorable emails and letters from readers of this column and visitors to our website (tailgatershandbook.com) that we feel obligated to rerun this recipe every few years. You may ask, “Why was this soup referred to as lost?”

As was our practice, we asked the lady to send us the recipe and she promised she would, but it never came. When the book went to press we still didn’t have her recipe, even though a whole chapter was planned for the Lost Cheeseburger Soup.  Alas, a sumptuous hearty meal we would never taste again!

Several years later a nephew of this woman (Joyce Massetti) emailed us.  He was at that infamous tailgate party and read about the lost soup (minus recipe) in the book. He thought to himself, “That was us.”  He contacted aunt Joyce and was able to furnish us with her name and the recipe. Hence, we have added this great recipe to our site and write about it often. You need to try this exceptional cold weather soup.

Lost cheeseburger soup


1 pound ground beef

1 medium carrot chopped

1 medium onion chopped

2 cans Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese Soup

1 can water

Salt and Pepper


Brown ground beef, drain, then add carrots and onion (chopped).  Cook entire mixture until soft and season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Add soup and water and heat well.

This soup is great for a substitute for that old favorite, chili.  Serve with dill pickle chips and rolls for dipping. Add shredded cheddar cheese to thicken to soup to your liking.

This recipe makes four to six servings and we usually double the recipe.


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