This soup makes me happy. It just does. It's nothing like "Beer Cheese Soup", which I happen to find very thick, gloppy and kind of gross. This is fairly light and full of yummy vegetables. I like the flavor of chicken broth in the base, but you could use vegetable broth or (like my mom) use water. It's super easy and very adaptable. Also a GREAT way to use up the little bits of vegetables that you have left over at the end of the week!
3 C Boiling Water (you get to use that fancy kettle!)
1/4 Onion (finely chopped) (mom uses the dried onion in a bottle, but I prefer fresh )
1/4 C Butter
1/4 C flour
2 C milk
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
VEGGIES - chopped to bite sized, whatever floats your boat but here's what's going into my soup: asparagus, green beans, corn, red pepper, zucchini, red potato, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, celery and maybe a jalapeno (if it isn't squashy - it's leftover from last week)
Bring the stock (or water) to a boil and toss in all veggies except the onion. cover and simmer for 10 minutes. DO NOT DRAIN!
In a separate sauce pan, saute the onions in the butter until translucent. Add the flour and cook for about a minute (just to get that raw floury flavor cooked out) then slowly add in the milk and stir until all the lumps are gone and it's a thick, velvety sauce. Add the shredded cheddar cheese to this sauce and stir in until all lovely and melted (mouth is watering). Pour the cheese sauce into the soup and mix to combine. Let it come to hot, but NOT BOILING.
Serve with a nice, hot loaf of crusty bread and a little pot of butter.
And a big glass of wine.
About all of those veggies: I literally grab one or two of things. Like, 1 potato (and it's small), I've got some leftover carrots & celery. I held back a few stalks of asparagus from dinner earlier this week -- but if you do use a TON of veggies and it's too much veg to broth - just increase things proportionally. I will often do this with 1/3 C each of the butter/flour and increase it to 3 cups of milk and add an extra handful of cheese.
This is a VERY forgiving recipe. You can use whatever you have on hand and alter to suit. I happen to have some left over thyme in my fridge so I'll add some of that - but whatever works for you and you happen to have handy, will probably taste excellent.