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Somebody gimme a cheeseburger! So sang Steve Miller in “Livin’ in the USA!” And so I was inspired to create a comforting bacon cheeseburger…in a bowl. STAND BACK!

If you love a cheeseburger, this soup is calling your name. And since there’s nothing like your favorite brew to go with, we’ve got beer in the mix, too. Of course, you can use all chicken stock if you prefer. But, boy, this is goooooooood!

BACON CHEESEBURGER SOUP

4 thick strips slab bacon, in small cubes
1 pound ground chuck
¾ teaspoons Kosher salt
large sweet onion, diced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped (yes, of course, I used a crinkle-cutter–by now you know the rules!)
1½ pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and diced (no need to peel)
1 red pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (remember to wear your gloves if you have sensitive paws like me!)
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup beer*
¼ cup flour
3 tablespoons butter
1½ cups whole milk
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese (I used Cabot Seriously Sharp)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I love Grey Poupon Harvest Coarse Ground, but choose your fave)
1 tablespoon  hot sauce of your choice (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional for garnish:
Vlasic Zesty Dill Stackers, chopped
Extra shredded cheddar

*Not crazy about beer in your soup? Just use three cups of chicken stock instead of two.

In a large saucepan,  cook bacon till crispy. Drain excess fat on a paper towel and set aside. Save the bacon drippings for when it’s time to cook the onions, celery and carrots. You’ll need about two tablespoons—just enough to coat the bottom of the saucepan.

Cook ground chuck. Strain off fat and set aside. I put mine in a bowl with the bacon.

In bacon drippings, cook onion, carrots and celery over medium heat—maybe 8-10 minutes.

Add potatoes, broth, beer, red pepper and jalapeno. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes (till potatoes are tender).

In a small saucepan, melt butter and whisk in flour to form a roux. Stir roux, then cheese, into the broth and veggies. When the cheese is all melted, add mustard, hot sauce, milk, ground chuck and bacon. Stir to combine, then remove from heat.

Garnish with a little extra shredded cheddar and chopped dill pickles for the complete bacon cheeseburger experience in a bowl!

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