Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cheese Soup......with Vegetables

My kids love cheese soup. Of course, we are big cheese people. (Note that I said cheese and not cheesy). Yes, we are the family that mainly holds on to our Sam's Club membership for the savings we incur by purchasing our cheese there. If you are lactose intolerant or a vegan or someone who just does not like cheese, well, then, this post isn't for you.

In my pursuit to make things "more healthful" for our family, I've cut out pretty much all canned condensed soups. And, as I've searched for cheese soup recipes, most of the well reviewed ones call for one of two ingredients: condensed cheese soup or Velveeta. Now, I don't really have anything against Velveeta. It's just not for me. And it's relatively expensive and really not all that healthful for you. I'm more natural than that. Here's how I've gotten around the processed cheese aspect of a good cheese soup.

Cheese Soup with Vegetables:

1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme
1 Bay leaf
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 flour
3-4 cups of milk (we use 1% but whatever you have on hand)
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (you can use more if you'd like!)
2 cups broccoli florets, cut into bit size pieces
Hot sauce, to taste (optional)

In a soup pot, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot and lightly sauté. Add butter to the pot and stir until melted. Add thyme, bay leaf, and salt & pepper (and really any other herb that you think might be good like maybe sage) and stir. Add the flour, stirring for a minute or two to cook out some of the flour taste. Slowly add in the milk, whisking as you do so. You're basically making a white sauce with vegetables in it (I do this quite a bit when I cook to make sauces). It's up to you how much milk you want to add, you can always add more later to get the consistency your family likes. Then add the cheese and stir to melt. Your pot should be at a simmer now, don't boil or it'll get all chunky and not be smooth. Let it barely simmer for about 5 minutes. Then add the broccoli florets and simmer another five minutes. Check for seasonings, add a couple of shakes of hot sauce if desired. Remove bay leaf and fresh thyme sprig (if you used), serve and enjoy!

1 comment:

Amy J. said...

sounds awesome! We eat a lot of cheese here too.