The ultimate loaded Bacon Cheeseburger Soup is quick, easy, hearty and CHEESY!
Add the bacon to a large pot over medium heat. Cook until crisp, approximately 5 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate and reserve. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons fat and return the pot to the heat.
Add the ground beef to pot and bread up into small pieces with a fork. Cook the beef until browned and no longer pink, approximately 7-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl and set aside.
Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat and return the pot to the heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots to the pot. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally, approximately 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the onion mixture and stir to combine.
Add the potatoes and stock to the pot stirring to combine. Return the beef the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. (If skipping the potatoes, return the beef and stock to the pot then move to the next step.)
Stir in the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, Italian seasoning and pickle juice. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the half and half and 1 cup of cheese to the soup stirring until the cheese is melted.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Toss the cut up burger buns with the olive oil and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
Bake the croutons for 5 minutes.
Toss the croutons and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
Serve the soup topped with the reserved bacon, cheese, croutons and green onions, if desired.
Cheeseburger Soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Cheeseburger Soup can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Store the toppings and croutons in a separate container to ensure freshness.