Epcot Food and Wine Festival - Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup
Mike and I went to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival last weekend and had a really good time. I liked a lot of the foods we sampled so I decided to buy the festival cookbook. I am gradually trying the recipes in the book and I will be posting them as I try them out.
The Canada booth is always our favorite stop during the festival so I decided to start with the cheddar cheese soup, which is probably the most popular item at the festival. This is definitely not a healthy soup, but it would be great for a holiday or dinner party. This soup is extremely rich, we could barely finish what was in our bowls so I will cut this in half if I ever make it for just our little family again.
I especially loved how wonderful the preparation of this soup made the house smell. I rarely cook with bacon and butter is used sparingly, so this almost felt like making a dessert. The best thing to go with this would be something light, like a salad or small Panini.
½ Pound applewood smoked Bacon (cut into ½” pieces)
4 Tablespoons butter
1 Diced red onion (about 1 cup)
3 Diced celery stalks (about 1 cup)
1 Cup all purpose flour
3 Cups chicken stock
4 Cups whole milk
1 Pound aged white Cheddar cheese (shaved or grated)
1 Tablespoon salt (to taste)
1 Tablespoon pepper
1 Tablespoon worchester sauce
1 Tablespoon tobasco sauce
1 cup warm beer
(Tips from allearsnet.com)
*****The number one rule in Cheddar cheese soup is “Low and slow”. This recipe takes about an hour to make, and if you try to turn the heat up and rush it, you will only ruin your work *****
*****The number two rule is “Keep stirring”. This is a soup that can burn, and takes a lot of tender loving care. When in doubt, “Keep stirring" *****
1. In a large Soup pot or dutch oven, render down the bacon.
2. Add the Butter and melt it.
3. Add the Onion and Celery and sauté until onions to start to get translucent.
4. Dust this with flour and mix to form a roux. Keep stirring until all of the flour has been incorporated.
5. Add chicken stock, slowly, while constantly stirring. You are looking for something resembling a gravy at this point. It's going to be very thick. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
6. Next add milk, again slowly, while constantly stirring. This should significantly lighten up your soup at this point. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
7. Turn heat up slightly, it's time to melt the cheese. Add cheese very slowly in small amounts, while stirring constantly. Allow each portion of cheese to melt away before adding the next. Keep stirring.
8. Now add salt and pepper. Be very careful with your salt. There is a lot of salt in your bacon, and possibly even in your chicken stock.
9. Next add worchester, tobasco, and beer. Keep stirring.
10. Turn down the heat slightly and let simmer or serve. You can garnish each bowl with some finely chopped bacon and chives.
****When you are reheating this soup (especially in a microwave) you need to remember the 2 rules. “Low and slow” and “Keep stirring” you want to be constantly stirring this to ensure it blends evenly. ****