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by on March 4th, 2013

Cheesy Vegetable Soup

One of my fond “foodie” memories from Iowa.

I made torn coutons instead of cubing the bread. They were sauteed in a little olive oil until brown.

I have talked before about our living six years in Iowa and what fond memories I have of raising our kids there. Our daughter was born there and the boys spent six years of their lives there, skateboarding down our hill, sledding down our back yard and bringing all kinds of creatures big and small home for mom to look at with surprised eyes.

We had quite a few cold nights while living there. Cold, snowy, blizzardy, icy days and nights. My husband would lay in bed on those snowy, blizzard coming down mornings and wait to hear the road grader come down our street.  We lived on a bluff with about 15 other houses and he would know there was no way he was going to get down that hill if the road grater had not made it’s trek up our way.

So, doesn’t that make you want to grab for a blanket and a good bowl of soup? Soup is one of those things that is so comforting on a ice-cold polar night which I’m sure some of you are still having. Partner that bowl of steaming goodness with some homemade bread, biscuits, cornbread or if you must, a store bought cracker and you will be thanking me or someone from my old Welcome Wagon club for this recipe.  All I remember about this recipe was once we did a luncheon at someone’s house and there were about 8 of us and everyone brought a soup and I have had this recipe since 1980.

If anyone from my Iowa days sees this and remembers the luncheon, please leave a comment. I’m thinking this was from a ladies luncheon group.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Cheesy Bacon Biscuits would be great with this soup; 900+ people have looked at this recipe. Hope someone tried them.

Grate the cheese and toss with cornstarch. Do no use pre-grated cheese.

Have all vegetables and ham chopped and ready to go.

The firmer vegetables (carrot, onion and cauliflower get added to the skillet first. Add the mushrooms towards the end.

Heat the water and add the cheese and stir until melted.

Garnish with whatever you like. I should have thinly sliced some of the cauliflower and browned it for a garnish.

Cheesy Vegetable Soup

1 lb. cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 dash garlic powder, or 1 clove minced garlic
8 Tbsp. butter
¾ cup cauliflower, cooked
1 cup mushroom
½ cup carrot, finely chopped
1 cup onion
¾ cup Canadian bacon, or smoked ham, cut in small pieces
2 cups half and half
1/2 c. chicken broth

In 2-3 tablespoons of butter saute the cauliflower, onion and carrot (and garlic if using fresh) until tender and translucent. Add in the mushrooms and stir another 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked. (You always cook the firmer vegetables first that take the longest to cook.)

Mix the cornstarch with cheese. Heat the water to boiling. Add cheese mixture to boiling water. Stir until cheese is melted. Add the salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder.

Add the Canadian bacon or smoked ham to the soup pot. Stir in the Half & Half. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Do not boil. If you want a thinner soup, add the chicken broth or more water.

Serve with a nice hot bread. I served this with my Spanish-Style Tomato Toast. (That recipe coming up next.)

Notes: Do not use the pre grated cheese because there is some type of coating on it. If you use Canadian bacon (ham) make sure you cut off the rind part. If you thin the soup use either water or broth. You could use more cream but I thought it was already creamy enough.

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