- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 8 Slices bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 Pound lean ground beef, 90/10 blend
- 2 Cups russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 small yellow or white onion, grated with large box grater
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 Tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 Tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Cups beef stock
- 2 Cups whole milk
- 8 Ounces cream cheese
- 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese, plus extra for garnish
- Chopped scallions, for garnish
1. Cook the bacon:In a large heavy-bottomed pot set over medium-low heat, add the olive oil and bacon. Cook, stirring often until the bacon is crispy and the fat has rendered out, for 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer about half of the bacon into a small bowl. It will be used as a topping for the soup.
2. Brown the beef:Turn the heat up to medium. Add the ground beef into the pot with the cooked bacon and brown it in the bacon grease. Using a wooden spoon, break up the beef into small pieces as it cooks for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir it frequently so it doesn’t burn.
3. Add the veg and seasonings:Add the potatoes, onions, celery, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often until the vegetables soften. It’s okay if the potatoes aren’t cooked all the way through.
4. Thicken the soup:Stir in the flour and cook it for 1 minute. Slowly add the beef stock and milk, stirring constantly. The soup should start to thicken slightly, but not as thick as a gravy. When the soup comes up to a simmer, turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes until potatoes are very tender. Scoop one out with a spoon and try it!
5. Add the cheese:Over very low heat, add the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Stir gently until both cheeses melt into the soup. Don’t bring the soup to a boil once the cheeses are added. They will break and you’ll end up with a grainy soup.
6. Serve the soup:Once the cheeses are melted, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the extra cheese, the reserved crumbled bacon, and scallions.