beef

Campfire Favorites: Beef and Veggie Hobo Packs

Not too long ago, a rule was made that my brother had to pitch in with dinner sometimes. Now, my brother is a pretty good cook, but like all of us, he likes easy, and a lot of times, he sticks to the tried-and-true. So much so that we quickly realized that any nights where it was Jeffrey’s turn to cook, we either got waffles, or we got hobo packs. I started watching him making the hobo packs (as we affectionately call them, but apparently foil packet meal or foil packet dinner also works), and realized why he loved making them so much. They were easy. They were delicious. And most of all, they were versatile. With a family full of picky people, versatile is important.

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Hearty Cheeseburger Soup

It’s cold outside. Like, frigid. I should be used to Midwest Januaries by now. After all, every January of my life has been spent here. That doesn’t make the 5 degree temperatures any less surprising. It seems like a lot of places are even colder. I mean, Canada was colder than Mars just recently, and a major winter storm has been dumping snow everywhere.

That’s why it’s perfect to have a really hearty cold-weather recipe in your stash. This cheeseburger soup fits the bill.

You’ll want to start by browning about a pound of hamburger, then draining it and setting it aside. With soups, I’ve found that they’re great for eyeballing ingredients– if you have approximately what you’re looking for, then you’re able to produce a delicious soup without as much effort. Soups are just so forgiving. It’s also nice when you want to add or subtract ingredients, just in case you’re snowed in.

While cooking your ground beef, start dicing an onion. You’ll want it in small dices, nice and fine.

In a nice soup pot, you’ll want to melt 2 tablespoons or so of butter. Add in your diced onions and about 1 1/2 cups of shredded carrots. Cook, stirring every once in awhile, for 10 minutes, or until the carrots and onions are tender.

While you cook the carrots and onions, peel and chop up 8 cups of potatoes into bite-size pieces. That’s about 6 medium potatoes, if you’re counting.

Add a carton of chicken broth to the onion/carrot mixture, then fill the carton halfway with water, and add that, as well. Toss in your potatoes and your ground beef. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover.

Melt the rest of your stick of butter (6 tablespoons, if you’re not using a stick or using margarine instead) in your now-empty ground beef skillet, keeping the heat medium. Add in 1/2 cup flour slowly, whisking the entire time, for 3-5 minutes. Stir this into the soup, bringing it back to a simmer.

Reduce the heat to low, and add in some salt and pepper, 2 cans of evaporated milk, and 16 ounces (half of the large block) of Velveeta (dicing it first helps it melt faster!)

Stir while cooking until the Velveeta is melted, then serve. Rolls are a great addition to this, as well as toasted bread rounds, as pictured. The toasted bread rounds add a nice crunch to the soup.

This soup is a total crowd-pleaser, and it really is not hard to make. It is a perfect soup for staying in with the family before curling up cozy under blankets.

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