Cheese Chowder

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When I was in college living in the dorms I worked in the cafeteria as an id card swiper. The position was called “checker”. My favorite shift was the post lunch, but pre dinner shift.  The two-hour stretch when the only food the caf served was the cold cereal bar, the Sara Lee Deli sandwich line, and the grilled cheeses that were made to order.

There was also always soups of the day.

My friend Todd and I would start getting all dancey when the soup was “cheese soup”.

Grilled cheese (with colby…which you could only get if you knew the kid on grilled cheese duty) and a bowl of cheese soup was one of my most favorite things about the dorm caf.

(Thankfully since I lived in the dorms farthest from all the academic buildings and driving to class wasn’t really an option, I did NOT gain the freshman fifteen.  If the circumstances were different, that much cheesey goodness in my life would have made me a much more round college student.)

Anyway, I have never forgotten about that cheese soup.

It’s probably been 15 years since I had it, but I have never stopped looking for something as flavorful and satisfying (I realize it probably came out of a giant can, but it was YUMMY, darn it!).

Until now.

I’ve mentioned my love of my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook before (not an affiliate link), and this is another gem from there.

I also love it because it can be played with to be just a cheese base soup for broccoli cheese soup or cauliflower cheese soup or any other kind of yummy cheesy soup by omitting the celery, peppers, and onion.

Cort suggests adding bacon to it because all things are better with bacon.

So here it is…my beloved Cheese Chowder:

Cheese Chowder

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/2 dash chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granuales
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded American cheese

Directions

Step 1
In a large saucepan bring water to a boil and add carrot, celery, red pepper, and green onions. Cook, covered for about five minutes or until veggies are tender. Do NOT drain.
Step 2
In a small bowl whisk together one cup of the milk with the flour. Stir this into the veggie mix on the stove. Then add the remaining milk, the bouillon granules, and the white pepper.
Step 3
Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Then cook and stir for about one minute longer. Add the cheeses and stir until melted.

Remember: I never claimed to know any healthy dishes.  The almost pound of cheese in this recipe should be enough proof, but I though I should give the disclaimer!

 

Easy Homemade Chicken & Rice Soup

I don’t know about you, but when the temperature dips below 65 degrees, I start thinking about warm comfort food. And one of my favorite comfort foods are soup and chili.

Oh man, I am thinking about how yummy it smells to have soup plupping on the stove, and how cozy my tummy feels when I’ve finished a cup or bowl. Mmmm!

Since Cortney and I love a good bowl of warm deliciousness, I decided to try to make a new soup/chili once a week this fall.  And guess what, I’m going to share them with you!

The first soup–and the one that made me want to eat soup weekly–is my mom’s homemade chicken and rice soup.

chickensoup

It’s a soup-er easy recipe (see what I did there?), and very soul-warming. I made it because I was craving my childhood. I wanted the warm safety of my parents’ house and specifically the predictability of a warm, home-cooked meal on the table every night.

Just the smell of this soup calms down all the hurt in my heart and hushed the buzzing in my head.

I hope it works this magic for you too.

Chicken & Rice Soup

Ingredients

  • chicken broth (you can use a couple of the boxes from the store, or I use what I get from cooking a whole chicken in the crock pot)
  • chicken (I shred and chop about a quarter of a cooked chicken. You could also use a mixture of dark & white canned chicken meat)
  • 4 stalks of celery (chopped up, leaves and all)
  • 1 white onion (chopped)
  • 2-3 chicken bullion cubes
  • 1/2 cup rice (do NOT use minute rice for this (and I use a bit under a half cup))

Directions

Step 1
put it all together in a big pot on the stove and bring it to a low boil. Reduce heat and let it "plup" for about an hour.
Step 2
serve with crackers or bread or whatever you love with soup! Enjoy!

Want more recipes that I’ve posted before?

This is my Veggie Beef Soup recipe (also from my mom) and this is my White Chicken Chili recipe (adapted from a recipe by my aunt).

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