Cheddar Cheese Soup

makes about 6 cups

6 Tablespoons (3-ounces) unsalted butter

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 medium stalks celery, diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed to thin

1 cup half-and-half

8 ounces aged white Cheddar cheese, grated

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Cayenne Pepper to taste

Croutons for garnish

In a large stock pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook until tender, but not browned, about 8-10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, another 1-2 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over the vegetable mixture and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes more.  Slowly whisk in the chicken stock. Whisking constantly, bring the soup to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 45 minutes.  Remove from the heat. Using a hand held immersion blender or an upright blender (being careful pureeing the hot mixture) puree until smooth.

Return the pot to a low heat and add the half-and-half, cheese, and mustard. (Do not let the mixture come to a boil.)  Stir until the cheese is completely melted.  Season with the Worcestershire, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  If you prefer a thinner soup, thin with additional chicken stock if needed.  Serve with cayenne pepper and croutons for garnish.  Enjoy!

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