“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought
And the thought has found words.”
The summer sun echoes its soft twilight rays downward. Scarlet red and tinted marigold colors streak their way across the wooden floors. The windows are drawn open to let the cool summer breeze travel onward. A bouquet of freshly picked honey colored roses bloom gracefully in a glass vase on the windowsill. The soothing voice of Ella Fitzgerald cascades peacefully from the radio. The table is set and the ambiance divine. A cast iron pot placed center stage, on the center of the table. The lifted lid unravels a trail of steam upwards and into oblivion above. The ladle drew, and empty bowls raised. Soups on. Dinner is served.
In my parent’s dining room sits a china cabinet. Its large wooden bulkiness stands idly against the east wall of the room. The piece is elegant and strong. Its wooden curves tell the stories of the objects found behind its glass panel doors. What lies inside tell the story of my family. My heritage. Old vases, chipping plates, and crystal clear wine glasses line its aging shelves, many belonging to my parents as wedding mementos. Scattered throughout the various shelves lie objects of memories of my family, especially my grandmother, the life she once lived, and the legacy she left behind; her dinette set.
Grandma Crawford passed away when I was around the age of two or three. The memory of her is faint and covered with a cloud of haze and distortion. My only images of her own are through the stories of my family, aged pieces of cookery, and a variety of her cake recipes. Her beloved butternut pound cake and her Jewish apple cake, which is my favorite of all cakes. Lilly white platters, mugs, and saucers painted with bluebird color flowers in the center of each. They are minimalistic and simplistic, two things I deeply love. The dishes are not China and lack any particular valuable, except for sentimental value. Momma thinks she got them a piece at a time from a grocery store. This china cabinet would also be the starting point on my culinary and photographical journey.
I’ve posted a recipe for Bacon Cheeseburger Soup a few months back but thought I would tantalize your taste buds even further with something more. Cheeseburger soup is my favorite soup of all soups. It’s the one soup to rule them all. There is something indescribable about taking that first savory spoonful. The warmth radiates and the tastes are luscious and bold. It’s creamy, rich, and ultimately comforting. When writing this recipe, I was striving for a more health conscious attempt. I used evaporated milk instead of heavy cream. And…that’s about it. I would feel regretful, but its cheeseburger soup, it’s meant to be enjoyed as a guilty pleasure.
With all these thoughts about evaporated milk, it began to think about evaporation and the vast universe we share a space in. I quickly fell into a minor existential crisis and decided to travel that road for another day. Positivity and soup. Isn’t that all we need?
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon reserved bacon grease
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
- 3-4 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 teaspoon Basil
- ¼ cup dried Parsley flakes
- 4 cups beef broth
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 cups evaporated milk
- 2 cups of Velveeta
- 2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Pre-Step: “No man ever cried over an over-abundance of cheese.”
- In a Dutch oven, add the ground turkey and two tablespoons of reserved bacon grease. Cook until the meat becomes brown and fully cooked. Transfer ground turkey to a medium size bowl to cool.
- Take 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon grease and sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until vegetables begin to soften, and the onions begin to turn translucent. Add the dried basil and parsley. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Introduce the ground beef back in and add the beef broth. Bring the soup to a boil then cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes. Turn the soup to low and keep at a gentle simmer.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add flour, creating a roux, and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the roux is golden brown. Cooking the roux will allow the flour to lose its harsh bite. While whisking, gently pour in the evaporated milk. Whisk until roux becomes incorporated into the cream. Add the Velveeta and sharp cheddar cheese. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir continuously on medium heat until the cheese is melted, and sauce thickens, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer the cheese sauce and add it to the soup broth. Stir until all the cheese is well incorporated. Serve immediately.