By Joe Drozda and Bob Bley
This week’s weather is forecasted to be 50 degrees colder than the first week of this football season. That in mind, we felt that hot soup should be on everyone’s tailgate menu.
As our practice has been in 2018, we’ve tried to meet with a recognized expert to perfect our tailgate recipes. To find a Midwest soup expert, we went to thedailymeal.com, the internet’s most visited and respected food authority. On the site, we uncovered a list of the best soup restaurants in America. The Midwest choice was Soupremacy, a restaurant that has no equal in its home state of Indiana or anywhere in all Middle America. Soupremacy, sits amidst skyscrapers right in the heart of downtown Indianapolis and has steady foot traffic of soup lovers, especially on the cold days this fall.
The CBS affiliate tv station in Indy restaurant reviewer said, “They say chicken soup is good for the soul, we’ll I’ll take it a step further, and say Soupremacy is good for the soul (and taste buds too).”
Soupremacy chef and GM, Dannielle Cooney, agreed to meet with us to discuss secrets for soup making and help us with our recipe for Cheeseburger Soup. The very personable Chef Cooney approved the recipe and instructions below. The directions reflect her ideas to improve the soup we’ve made in the past. Since anything is better with bacon, this new recipe has taken cheeseburger soup from a 10 to an 11.
Bacon Cheeseburger Soup
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. bacon
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
4 Tbps. butter divided
3 cups beef broth
4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese for garnishing
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sour cream
The night before: Cube the bacon and fry it in a three-quart saucepan. Set aside. Brown the ground beef in the bacon drippings. Drain, and set aside. Drain off any fat left in the saucepan, then add 1 tablespoon butter, and over low heat, sweat the onions until translucent to bring out their sweet liquid. Do not let the onions caramelize. Add the shredded carrots, parsley flakes, basil and celery, and then sauté this whole mixture until tender. Add the broth, potatoes and beef and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
To make a roux, the recipe is one part fat to one part flour. So, use a small skillet to slowly melt (be careful to not burn the butter) the remaining butter. Add the flour and cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bubbly. Add this roux to the soup, and bring it to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Stir in the first two cups of cheese, milk, heavy cream salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the cheese melts. Stir in 3/4 of the cooked and cubed bacon. Remove from heat and blend in sour cream. Cool the soup and refrigerate overnight.
On game day: Heat the soup, and place it in a lidded soup pot that fits into your insulated cooler, surrounded by towels or into a thermo electric cooler for transport to the game. At the tailgate, heat the soup on your grill or burner until it simmers. Garnish each serving with the remaining bacon, cheese, parsley flakes, and serve with small dill pickles and French baguettes on the side.