I promise I will get to the Cheeseburger Rice Soup, but first I wanted to share something else with y’all. We had our first snow in South Central Virginia. Although it was only about 2 inches (and that might be stretching it), it was very picturesque. Megan went out in her yard and captured some action around her bird feeder. She has a pair of northern cardinals that are regulars at the feeder. I love how stately the scarlet red male looks sitting in the tree above. Very fitting as the cardinal was designated as Virginia’s official state bird back in 1950. When you look at the above picture notice there are three birds. I easily spotted the cardinal and the tufted titmouse, but almost missed the little black-capped chickadee. The little fella really blends in with the snow and the branch he’s perch next to.
Although not as colorful as the male, the female cardinal’s colors standout beautifully against the snowy background. Here she is getting in her share of time at the feeder.
Here’s the male again. This time he’s at the feeder with a downy woodpecker. It was a little hard to determine if this was a hairy woodpecker, or a downy woodpecker. They both are very close in appearance. After zooming in and looking closely at it’s beak, I determined the little fella to be a female downy woodpecker. The beaks of the downy woodpeckers are shorter than those of the hairy woodpeckers. Also, a male would have some red color on the back of it’s head. It’s comical the way the woodpeckers hang, instead of perching on the feeder the way the other birds do.
I’ve never considered birdwatching a hobby, although, I have always enjoyed seeing birds at the various feeders we have. I’m especially fond of the little hummingbirds during the warmer months. But, I must say – I have recently become more and more interested in determining, more specifically, what birds are at the feeders. Much of this was inspired because of a Reader’s Digest: Book of North American Birds we acquired when my dear mother-in-law passed away. Now, I find myself keeping this book close by, and referring to it rather often to see what “new visitors” we have each day.
Now, I know what y’all must be thinking. Hello? The soup? So let’s get started – um, what kind of soup was it again? Just kidding! This cheeseburger rice soup was a perfect way to get warmed up on a cold snowy day. It’s like a cheeseburger in a bowl. It’s is very simple recipe to make and can easily work great as one of those last minute decisions for supper.
- 2 pounds ground beef, browned
- 2-3 cups rice, cooked
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, thinly sliced
- 4 cups milk (plus more for reaching desired consistency)
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 16 ounces shredded cheese
- 1 (8-ounce) sour cream
- In a large pot cook onion, carrots, and celery in a little butter, or oil until vegetables are tender and onion is translucent. Add browned ground beef, cooked rice, milk, and cheese, and heat through. Add additional milk at this time, if desired. Remove from burner, stir in sour cream, and salt & pepper to taste.