(all measurements are approximate)
1/2 lb. ground beef (I used a pound...mainly because if I wrapped up the remaining half pound, I'd lose it in the freezer)
3/4 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. shredded carrot
3/4 c. diced celery
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley (didn't have any...I threw in some chives)
4 T. butter divided
3 c. chicken broth
4 c. peeled and diced potatoes
1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. pepper
2 c. velveeta, cubed (thanks, Heather. FYI: I used shredded cheddar because Velveeta...shudder!)
1/4 c. sour cream
1. Brown the ground beef in a saucepan.
2. While that cooks, compare carrot sizes and try to visualize how many of what size will make 3/4 c. once shredded. You only need to either wash or peel carrots, but carrots look like trouble makers, so go ahead and do both. Afterward, grate carrots into a bowl. (You will now have either way too much grated carrot, or not nearly enough.) Set aside.
4. Check on ground beef. It should now be really done on the bottom and raw on the top. Chop and stir vigorously.
5. Dice onion into the same bowl with the shredded carrot.
7. Post a small child as a look-out/stalling tactic should your husband arrive home. Using paper towels, a long handled, wooden spoon, and hot water, attempt to remove all grease from the sink (the garbage disposal fairies did not come do their thing during the last 3 steps).
8. Check recipe and realize that the onion needs to be sauteed with the spices in butter. Painstakingly pick diced onion out of shredded carrots and place in a separate bowl.
9. Melt 1 T. of butter in the same saucepan you used for the ground beef.
10. Check the fridge for celery. You don't have any. Shrug. Who likes celery anyway? Throw onions and spices in pan with melted butter.
11. Check recipe again and discover that the carrots actually are supposed to be sauteed with the onions and whatnot. Dump them in. Saute until veggies are tender or you're tired of stirring, whichever comes first.
12. Meanwhile, wash, peel, and dice potatoes. Eyeball saucepan and decide that it is not going to be large enough to contain all ingredients. Get out the biggest pot you own. Pour contents of saucepan into potimus maximus. Curse your ability to generate twice as many dirty dishes as necessary. Stir.
13. Add broth, beef, and potatoes to the sauteed veggies and spices. Eyeball potisaurus rex. Acknowledge that it's way too big for the amount of soup that it's going to end up containing. Face palm. Stir.
14. While that cooks, melt remaining butter in a small skillet. Add flour. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Stir into ginormous pot of soup. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for approximately 2 minutes. (But don't actually stir the whole time...who does that?) Reduce heat to low.
15. Add cheese, milk, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts.
16. Realize that it is now 7:12, your emaciated family are clutching their bellies and moaning weakly, and you forgot to make any muffins (or anything else) to go with the soup. Call for hand washing and hastily slop together butter & jelly sandwiches.
17. Dish up soup into a hodgepodge of containers including (but not limited to) bowls, coffee mugs, gravy boats, and Tupperware....raid dishwasher for (still dirty) spoons and hand wash as many as necessary. Alert the fam to "come and get it!"
18. Go back into kitchen to get your soup once everyone is seated at the table and the prayer has been said. Notice sour cream sitting on counter. Check recipe, but say nothing to your starving family who are shoveling in soup like there's no tomorrow (except your youngest, who has opened her butter & jelly sammy and is currently licking the jelly from the bread while looking warily at her bowl of soup as if it might try to jump in her mouth). Quickly blend the forgotten sour cream into the still hot vat of soup. Add a dollop of sour cream toYOUR bowl of soup. Ignore your guilt. Now that you know the sour cream is absent, you'll miss it. Besides, your family is obviously enjoying their incomplete soup...except for your youngest, and you know that sour cream is only going to make her less likely to actually consume any.
Voila! This is what my emmaness looks like in the kitchen. Every. Single. Day.