This comforting cheddar cheese soup is perfect for a chilly winter lunch or dinner.
Cold Weather Comfort
Is there anything better than a steaming bowl of soup on a cold winter night? My answer is obviously, “Yes!”
This soup is so simple to make that you can really do it on the fly–at the last minute. Another thing that’s great about this cheddar cheese soup is that it keeps and reheats very well. You can also dress it up with add-ins of your choice which will make it a lot heartier and fill in as a meal in itself.
Keep this soup in mind for your Super Bowl parties–make double or triple the recipe and keep it warm in the slow cooker!
Cheese It Up
I used an extra-sharp yellow cheddar in this because I wanted a little color in the soup and a bold taste. However, if you prefer milder versions of cheddar use what you like. Also, white cheddars will do just fine–and keep the soup relatively white.
But this is a soup you can get bold with if you want to do so. Any cheese that doesn’t “string” when it melts would be perfect. I’m thinking bleu cheese or gorgonzola–now that would make a really bold statement. You’d have to reduce the amount of cheese called for if you use such a strong-flavored cheese such as bleu. A little goes a long way for flavor with that variety, so I’d recommend starting out with about 1/4 cup crumbled. Some blanched cauliflower would be a nice addition if you are using bleu or gorgonzola.
Smoked gouda would be good in this too–but again, start out with smaller amounts if you are using stronger cheeses. And with smoked cheese, bacon is a must!!!
Creamy And Rich
For cream soups, I tend to use half and half or light cream with a tad of heavy cream added. A brilliant soup maker I knew years ago (and who taught me some trade secrets) insisted that cream soups be made with heavy cream ONLY. Yes, it is delicious, but personally I can only eat a little bit of it now that I’m older. Heavy cream is quite expensive too, so I took a more economical approach to cream soup making by using half and half and/or light cream which is way cheaper.
Trust me, it tastes just as good even though it’s less rich. I also add some heavy cream into the mix–just because–but not a lot. If you want to use milk, use whole and definitely add a couple of tablespoons of cream for flavor. There’s really no way to use reduced fat items in this because it just won’t taste good and besides, cream soups are not “diet” items anyway.
- 2½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 tbs butter
- 4 scallions (including some of the green parts), chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 4 tbs flour
- ⅛ tsp grated nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 3½ cups half and half
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the scallions, onion and celery.
- Cook until the onion softens. Sift in the flour, nutmeg and pepper and cook for 2 or 3 minutes longer. Gradually stir in the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool the mixture slightly.
- Strain into a bowl and return it to the pan.
- Add the half and half and the cream. Bring the soup just to a boil. Gradually add the cheese, stirring to melt each batch before adding more. Return the soup to a boil, stirring often. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and Worcestershire.