30 minutes active; 4 hours inactive to prepare serves 8-10
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (16 oz.) package velveeta, cubed
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
4 small potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cheddar cheese, grated
Heat a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat and cook ground beef, breaking it up as it cooks, until browned. Season generously with salt and pepper and garlic powder.
Drain fat, then wipe out skillet with a paper towel. Melt butter in skillet, then whisk in flour. Cook roux for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown, then whisk in whole milk. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from heat and refrigerate until ready to use.
Place beef, along with onion, carrot, celery and potatoes in slow cooker and cover with chicken broth. Season with basil and parsley, the cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until potatoes are tender.
Stir in refrigerated roux mixture, then add in cubed velveeta. Cover again and cook for another 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and soup is thick and smooth.
Serve hot, topped with cheese and bacon bits. Enjoy!