New England Soup
Elise's Vermont Cheddar Soup
Cheesy, creamy—delicious! Ham and vegetables add extra extra flavor and wonderful texture.
In 4 T of butter, sauté the leek, and onion till translucent. Add ham, carrots and celery, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add green pepper, sauté one minute. Set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, melt the other 4 T butter, whisk in flour till smooth, gradually whisk in chicken stock and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Add milk and cream, continuing to whisk over heat until creamy. Add the vegetable mixture, and slowly stir in cheese, mustard and hot sauce.
Keep on very low heat so as not to separate the cheese.
From good friend Elise Keely, who serves this every year at her traditional Christmas Eve open house! It's a favorite of friends and family. Thanks, Elise.
Tips & Glossary
Bouquet Garni: (boo-kay gar-nee), a bundle of herbs tied together with string or wrapped in cheese cloth square. Usual herbs include parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, and peppercorns. They release their flavor during long cooking. Used to flavor soups and stews and removed before serving.
Ginger: dried ground ginger is far more potent than freshly grated from the root. Sweet dessert recipes call for ground powder. If you wish to use freshly grated ginger, use 6 times the amount of ground called for in the recipe.
Nutmeg: Use small whole nuts and store them, tightly covered, in a dry dark area. Grate what you need using the smallest grating edge or grind in a food processor. What a difference from store bought nutmeg!
Piecrust: Store-bought versions are heaven-sent for those who have neither the time nor the know-how for good homemade piecrust. But for those willing to make their own, the payoff is great. See our recipe for Noel's Pie Crust.
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