Winter = Creamy cheesy soups galore!
I love soup, and Jonathan loves cheese. Even though he’s not a big fan of soup, he loves cheese more than most things in life, so these cheesy chowders were winners for both of us.
There’s really nothing better than a steaming bowl of creamy soup when it’s chilly outside. Except maybe blankets, cozy pajamas, coffee, a fireplace, and cuddling. But hot soup (served with an always-comforting loaf of crusty French bread) gives all of that a run for its money.
Soup is a funny thing. You can add so many ingredients and not really keep track of what all you threw in the pot. Maybe it’s just because I’m an amateur cook, but I find it so hard to write an accurate recipe for soup because the key to making it well is TASTING it constantly and adding layers of flavor over time according to how it’s turning out. (Yay — a good excuse to nibble and sample!!)
I’m not writing out entire recipes for these soups because I definitely wung it when I made them. Winged it? Wung it? You get the idea!
Beer Cheese Soup & Homemade Bread
(aka “The best cheese soup I’ve ever tasted!” – Jonathan)
In a large soup pot, saute a few diced onions in butter. Make a roux, then add chicken broth, beer, and milk. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add grated cheese to the soup, whisking it in with each handful. Add a tiny bit of the Worcestershire and Dijon, tasting along the way. Add a couple dollops of sour cream and all the spices (go easy on the nutmeg). Add a bit of heavy cream to your liking, and blend the soup if you want it super smooth (it still tastes great it you don’t!) Add salt as necessary.
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can make your own homemade bread! But I shouldn’t have any authority over bread advice because I’m definitely not so great at bread-making yet! My loaf turned out very dense, which we actually liked, but you can probably do a better job with a Googled recipe!
Cheddar Apple Soup
(“Whoa, it’s sweet and savory at the same time!” – Jonathan)
In a skillet, saute a diced sweet onion and diced apples in butter.
I have potatoes in my picture above, but I never used them. It just didn’t feel right! If you wanted to use them, you’d probably throw them in at this point.
In a large soup pot, make a roux (with the ground mustard too), then add chicken broth and apple juice. Add the sauteed onions and apples to the soup pot. Let it simmer until the apples are tender. Add grated cheese to the soup, whisking it in with each handful.
It doesn’t look appetizing at this point, but just wait.
Add heavy cream and all the spices (go easy on the cayenne). Taste it and add whatever your taste buds tell you to (I added more apple juice and ground mustard at this point). Blend the soup if you don’t want it chunky. Add salt as necessary.
I toasted up a $1 loaf of French bread from WalMart. It was better than my homemade bread, in my opinion!
Garnish with green onions or fresh mint (I know that sounds weird, but it tasted great!)