Friday, April 8, 2011

Foodie Friday: Alton Brown's Cheese Soup

This soup was a delicious treat on a cold day a few weeks ago. The best part was that I hadn't planned on making it and had most of the ingredients on hand. The few I didn't I could substitute with items we did have. As the soup was cooking, I baked up some pretzel bites using my basic dough recipe. It was a yummy lunch that provided yummy leftovers!

Cheese Soup

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces small diced onion (approximately 1 cup)
  • 5 ounces small diced carrot (approximately 1 cup)
  • 5 ounces small diced celery (approximately 1 cup) ( I was out, but it didn't seem to make a huge difference.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt for sweating vegetables, plus more if needed at end of cooking
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart chicken broth, heated to a simmer
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 10 ounces Fontina, shredded (I substituted some mild cheddar we  had. It worked well.)
  • 1 teaspoon Marsala wine (I actually substituted with a fruit juice. Hey, I don't claim to be gourmet.)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • Optional: I served ours with some popcorn on top and added some extra heat to mine.)

Melt butter in large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and salt. Sweat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Sift the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes.
Gradually add the chicken stock and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and add thegarlic and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
Remove bay leaf. Turn off the heat, add the heavy cream, and then puree with an immersion blender or in a conventional blender. (Don't forget to be oh so careful when blending hot liquids!!) Gradually add the cheese, 1 small handful at a time, and stir until melted before adding next handful. Stir in the Marsala, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and white pepper. Taste and add additional salt if desired. If soup is not hot enough, return to a low heat until warmed through.
That Alton Brown sure knows his stuff!!!

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