Cheddar Cheese Soup
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 12 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated (about 4 cups)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Crumbled bacon, salsa, or creme fraiche, chopped parsley leaves, optional for garnish
In a large, heavy saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and peppers and saute until vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the stock, milk and heavy cream. Bring soup to a low boil and reduce heat so that the soup barely simmers. Cook, stirring frequently, until the soup is very thick and flavorful, about 20 minutes. Add the grated cheese in 1/2 cup increments, stirring after each addition until completely melted and smooth. Do not allow soup to boil. Season with salt and cayenne pepper, to taste.
Serve in shallow bowls, topped with some crumbled crispy bacon bits, a dollop of salsa or creme fraiche, and chopped parsley, as desired.