Recipe: SOUP WEEK: CHEESE SOUP

December 1, 2010 

It's soup weather. This week, we'll offer you some winning concoctions to warm your belly and make your home smell spectacular. Today's recipe from Food Network star Alton Brown has a simple title but the ingredient list suggests it might have a pretty complex flavor.

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 oz. small diced onion (approximately 1 cup)

5 oz. small diced carrot (approximately 1 cup)

5 oz. small diced celery (approximately 1 cup)

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 oz. Fontina, shredded

1 teaspoon Marsala wine

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

DIRECTIONS

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 the garlic 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. 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.

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