This wonderful Vermont Cheese Soup recipe is from "A Treasury of Great Recipes;" Price felt that it sounded kind of "far out." I don't particularly think so, but I do think that it's absolutely delicious. It isn't an overly-thick soup like those that have lots and lots of flour and other thickeners. And, though the recipe says that this will serve 4, it's really closer to 2 as it's written (unless you're serving the soup as an appetizer in very small cups).
The only changes that I made to the recipe were the use of black pepper instead of white pepper (I just don't like white pepper, it always tastes like dust to me), and I used milk instead of cream (which may be part of the reason why the soup wasn't super-thick). But if you like white pepper and want to use cream, by all means do so. And, even though I typically use low-fat cheeses, I used regular Cheddar cheese for this recipe since the cheese needs to melt nicely for the soup and that has not been my experience with lower-fat versions.
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 leek (white part only), chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped (you don't have to be too precise with the chopping; the vegetables will be strained from the broth later)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- salt to taste (I found that I did not need to add any salt; the stock and cheese were salty enough)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
In a large saucepan, heat chicken stock to boiling and add leek, celery, and onion. Simmer for 45 minutes then strain into a clean saucepan.
Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water, stir into soup and cook until slightly thickened (you'll have to increase the heat a bit at first).
Add the Cheddar cheese and stir in until cheese is melted. Add pepper and nutmeg, and taste to see if you need more salt.
To finish, combine 1 egg yolk with 1/2 cup of cream. Mix together and stir in 1/2 cup of the hot soup. Add this mixture to the soup, stirring rapidly and cook for 2 more minutes (don't let it boil). If you wish, add 1/4 cup dry white wine just before serving. Serves 4 (very small cups) or 2 (larger bowls).