YumYum Divas YumYum Recipes: Melinda Lee's Cheddar Cheese Soup, contributed by TwinLakesChef

Recipe Title: Melinda Lee's Cheddar Cheese Soup

Contributed by: TwinLakesChef

Additional Credits for Recipe
Note Melinda Lee had a cooking show years ago on KFI Talk radio out of Los Angeles; she always had good recipes.

"Regularly, I receive requests for a cheese soup recipe - usually cheddar - because everyone seems to love it, especially when
the weather is cold and blustery. In the new book called "Comfort Foods" (by Rachel Ray, Lake Isle Press), I came upon this easy and excellent recipe, so thought to post it, once and for all. The author suggests that a BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich makes a great partner to this soup - and I agree! I have added a few comments and edits to the original recipe for added clarity, and because careful handling of the cheese is so important to a smooth result. As always, remember that the better the cheese, the better the result will be."

Note from the Diva






List of Ingredients
3 tablespoons, butter
1 medium-size onion - chopped fine
3 scallions (green onions) - sliced thin
1 stalk, celery - chopped fine
1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
3 tablespoons, flour (plus a small amount for tossing with the grated cheese)
1/8 teaspoon, ground nutmeg
2 cups, chicken broth
1 quart (4 cups), whole milk
2 ¼ cups, grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 dashes, Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Garnish: about 12 chives - chopped fine [optional]

Preparation
Melt the butter in a deep, heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add the onion,
scallion, celery and bay leaf. Sauté the vegetables gently for about 2 minutes, or
until the onions are translucent.

Sprinkle the flour and nutmeg over the vegetables, and stir to blend. Cook for 2 minutes more, stirring, then whisk in the chicken broth, increase the heat, and bring the mixture to a boil. When broth begins to boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the milk, whisk to incorporate, then raise the heat once again, and bring the
mixture to a boil.

Toss the grated cheese with a few pinches of flour - using just enough flour to very lightly coat the cheese. When the milk mixture begins to boil, lower the heat as low as possible, and stir in the grated cheese by handfuls - stirring with a "figure eight" motion. [Using a wooden spoon for this is helpful, because the spoon will not get hot in your hand as you stir.] As each addition of cheese melts, add another handful, (stirring in that figure-eight motion) until all the cheese has been added. Add the Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately, garnished with chopped chives, if desired.

NOTE: Be careful not to allow the soup to boil, once the cheese has been added,
or the cheese will separate and become stringy. A pinch of dry mustard may be
added when the Worcestershire sauce is added, if desired.

Cooking Time & Temperature
When you get to the step where you add the cheese; pull the pan off the burner and only add enough additional heat to melt the cheese.

Number of Servings: Servings: 6

Cookbook Category
Soup-Hot

General Cooking/Prep Method
Boil
Saute
Simmer

Extra Features of Recipe
Difficulty Level-Moderate

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