Cheddar Soup

 

This is from a "Cooks Illustrated" email.  Haven't tried it yet.

 

Published: March 1, 2002

Makes about 7 cups, serving 4 to 6

This soup isnít the best candidate for making in advance. Reheat the soup in a saucepan over low heat, whisking gently to prevent the soup from separating. Do not bring above a bare simmer.

INGREDIENTS

3   tablespoons  unsalted butter  

1   medium onion , minced (about 1 cup) 

1   medium carrot , minced (about 1/3 cup) 

1   small rib  celery , minced (about 1/4 cup) 

1   medium clove  garlic , minced 

2   tablespoons  unbleached all-purpose flour  

2 1/2   cups  low-sodium chicken broth  

2 1/2   cups  half-and-half  

1   bay leaf   

pinch  cayenne pepper  

3   tablespoons  dry sherry  

12   ounces  sharp cheddar cheese , shredded (about 3 cups) 

1   tablespoon  minced fresh thyme leaves   

Table salt and ground black pepper  

1. Heat butter in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat until foaming; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add carrot, celery, and garlic; cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring to coat vegetables, until mixture begins to brown on bottom of pot, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and half-and-half and add bay leaf. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes.

2. Off heat, add cayenne and sherry; cool soup for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in cheese and thyme; season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.