I think I can count on one hand the people I know who don’t like cheese. Unfortunately for me, Mike is one of them, but that just means more of this soup for me, right? ;) This soup is creamy and rich, with a slightly smoky flavor from the turkey bacon. The flavors of the different veggies melt into the background, so the flavor of the Sharp White Cheddar really comes through. This soup is very thick, and almost dip-able in a fondue type of way. This makes an incredibly satisfying, heart-warming meal, in the same way that pajamas and pancakes fulfill a weekend morning. I'm sending this recipe over to Biz at Biggest Diabetic Loser for this week's BSI (cheddar)!
If you’re anything like me (and could eat cheese with or in place of any meal) you’ll probably be tempted to eat the whole pot of this soup in one go. Because this soup is so rich, it's probably better to stick with a smaller-than-normal soup serving…somewhere around ¾ of a cup...trust me, this will fill you up!
White Cheddar Soup (Inspired by Disney’s Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup)
(Yield: 4 to 6 servings)
3 TB olive oil, divided
4 slices turkey bacon, diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 large ribs celery, finely diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
2 large cloves garlic, minced
⅓ c all-purpose flour
2 c chicken or vegetable stock (or 2 c water and 1 bouillon cube)
1 ½ c reduced-fat milk (I use 1%)
1 teaspoon each Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard
1 bay leaf
6 oz Sharp White Cheddar, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped scallion (optional, for garnish)
In a 3-quart pot, heat 2 TB of oil on medium heat; add the turkey bacon and sauté until crispy (about 5 minutes). Use a slotted spoon to remove the turkey bacon. To the same pot, add the remaining tablespoon of oil, the onion, and the celery; sauté over medium heat until the veggies are starting to soften (about 5 minutes). Add the shredded carrot and garlic, and sauté another 1-2 minutes, until the carrot starts to soften and the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the flour and sauté 2 minutes, then gradually whisk in the chicken stock, milk, Worcestershire, and Dijon. Add the bay leaf. Stirring constantly, bring the soup up to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer very gently for 10 minutes until the veggies are tender. Turn off the heat and whisk in the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve garnished with the crispy turkey bacon and chives.