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Course: Soups & Sandwiches
Keyword: Appetizers, Cheese Soup, Comfort Food, Soup

Cheese Soup

Creamy cheese soup in a bowl with hunks of bread on the side.
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and Marsala wine bring balance to this rich and creamy cheese soup: A comforting classic for cheese lovers.
Cooking with cheese is tricky business. That's because cheeses — all cheeses — are emulsions containing water, fat, and protein in differing amounts. Heat complicates matters considerably. It should be applied slowly and never to a greater degree than absolutely necessary.
Note: When blending hot liquids, remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.
This recipe originally appeared in Season 8 of Good Eats.
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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup small-diced onion
  • 1 cup small-diced carrot, peeled
  • 1 cup small-diced celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt for sweating vegetables, plus more for seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup warm heavy cream
  • 10 ounces Fontina cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tobasco sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Marsala wine

Specialized Hardware

  • Immersion blender or conventional blender
Creamy cheese soup in a bowl with hunks of bread on the side.
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Procedure

  • Melt the butter in large heavy-bottomed soup pot set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to high, gradually add the chicken stock, and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and add the garlic and bay leaf. Cover and simmer until vegetables are soft, approximately 30 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaf. Turn off the heat, add the heavy cream, and then puree with an immersion blender or in a conventional blender (see note). If using a conventional blender, return to pot after blending, then season. Gradually add the cheese, one small handful at a time, and stir until melted before adding next handful. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, Tobasco sauce, white pepper, and Marsala. Taste and add additional salt, if desired. Return the soup to low heat until warmed through.
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