Soup—Winter’s Comfort Food

I love curling up with a steaming mug of soup on a chilly evening. Whether cooking in a crockpot or simmering on the stove, the aroma invites us to partake of winter’s ultimate comfort food. How appropriate January has been designated National Soup Month.

Many years ago, I received an unusual Christmas present—a Taste of Home subscription. The magazine was chocked-full of recipes. I pored over the pages filled with photographs of mouth-watering dishes—appetizers, main courses, and desserts. The publication offered a section of recipe cards which I cut and filed. Which recipe would I try next?

In 1996, a Taste of Home issue advertised a contest calling for original soup recipes. I’d never entered a contest, but this one intrigued me. I had the perfect recipe.

A local restaurant served a delicious cheeseburger soup, but the recipe was a trade secret. So, I identified a few ingredients—potatoes, hamburger, and cheese in a cream base. I attempted to mimic their recipe and created my own version of cheeseburger soup. 

I submitted the recipe for the contest. To my surprise and delight, my cheeseburger soup won an honorable mention and was featured in a special issue along with the other winners.

Twenty years later, I assumed my cheeseburger soup recipe was long forgotten, until I found it posted on Facebook. About the same time, a friend told me that the soup had become a favorite holiday tradition with her family.

I’m amazed my cheeseburger soup has been recirculated in numerous Taste of Home recipe books and magazines, and recently featured on the cover of their Soups magazine. Cheeseburger soup is still one of my favorites and seems to have survived the test of time.

What is your favorite soup? Please share your recipe or recipe link in the comments section. I would love to savor a bowl of one of your favorites. Bon Appétit!

Cheeseburger Soup Link:

Cheeseburger Soup as published in Taste of Home

by Joanie Shawhan

  • 1/2-pound ground beef
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1-3/4 pounds (about 4 cups) cubed peeled potatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (16 ounces) Velveeta process cheese, cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook and crumble beef until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In same saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Sauté onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley until tender, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes, beef and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir until bubbly, 3-5 minutes. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook until cheese melts. Remove from heat, blend in sour cream. Yield: 8 servings (2-1/4 quarts).

You can substitute grated cheddar, Monterey jack, or one of your favorite cheeses.