I was jonesing for a cheeseburger and I wanted some soup, and it would soon be suppertime. There’s only one way to satisfy that need and it’s to make cheeseburger soup – with bacon! A bacon cheeseburger is my favorite, so I set out to emulate that as closely as I possibly could. The flavor of a griddle fried hamburger has to be unmistakable and all the other ingredients contribute to the illusion.
My favorite burger has a griddle fried meat patty, a slice of onion and a slice (or two) of American cheese. Add two slices of bacon with condiments on a buttery toasted bun and that’s nirvana. All that remains is to deconstruct that and make some soup.
The ingredients identify themselves when you tear apart a cheeseburger. The meat patty turns into browned hamburger, the onion is diced and sauteed, the bacon fried and crumbled. Everything is combined with a lightly flavored broth, melted cheese and a few spices. That’s it.
If you love tomato on your burger you may dice and fold them in at the end of the cooking process to keep them whole. A few sauteed mushrooms are acceptable, again adding them near the end to maintain their appearance. Beyond that things get dicey.
You don’t have to muck it up with a lot of other ingredients just because it’s soup, and you shouldn’t. Say no to the temptation of potatoes, celery and carrots if you want to maintain the integrity of its name.
Finally, the toasted bun translates into buttery ritz or saltine crackers and don’t forget a dollop of sweet relish, ketchup and mustard. Yes, they are the ultimate trio of flavors guaranteed to make you think – cheeseburger!