The love of cheese in the USA has traveled as humans have traveled – beginning in Europe and Scandinavia and heading west with immigrants to the midwest states and again on to the west coast. Here are three recipes to try that are similar but with subtle differences. Which is your favorite?
Viking’s Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup
No one combines their love of beer and cheese quite like those in Wisconsin. Viking Cruise Lines shares their recipe for this ultimate comfort soup to warm you up. Enjoy while watching the game on t.v., or serve for dinner with fresh bread and a salad.
- ½ C (115 g) butter
- 2 med yellow onions, finely diced
- 4 celery ribs, finely diced
- 4 med carrots, finely diced
- 2 Tbsp (20 g) garlic, roasted and mashed
- 1 C (125 g) flour
- 12 oz (355 ml) bottle bock beer
- 4 C (946 ml) chicken stock
- 1 tsp (1 g) thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp (1 g) smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp (16 g) Dijon mustard
- 4 C (946 ml) heavy cream
- 16 oz (454 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 16 oz (454 g) white cheddar cheese, shredded
- Salt to taste
- 1½ Tbsp (5 g) chives, chopped
- ½ C (4 g) popped popcorn, dusted with salt and pepper
In a large pot over medium low heat, cook butter, onions, celery, carrot and garlic until softened. Add flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Increase heat to medium, stir in beer and broth, bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened. Add thyme, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, paprika, mustard and cream. Add cheese slowly, stirring constantly, until incorporated. Remove from heat; remove bay leaf.
Garnish with chives and popcorn just before serving.
- Prep time: 20 minutes.
- Cook time: 30 minutes.
- Makes 16 servings.
The Pacific Northwest’s Tillamook Cheese Soup
The Northwest loves its cheese too – especially if it is from homemade Tillamook cheese. The Tillamook Cheese Factory is located in – you guessed it – Tillamook, Oregon on the Oregon coast. Serving up samples for decades, this is one of the most popular stops for visitors to the beautiful northern Oregon coastline.
Ama Waterways Cruises Dutch Cheese Soup
Gouda cheese is the star of the show in this Dutch cheese soup recipe provided by Ama Waterways. Their European cruise ships sail into the heart of the Scandinavian countries where high quality cheese has been created for hundreds of years.
2 celery stalks
3 cloves garlic
6 cups cauliflower florets
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and ground white pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups grated gouda
1 teaspoon mustard (Dijon-style or English)
¼ C half-and-half
1 tablespoon butter
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped coarsely
2 to 3 thin slices of prosciutto, julienned
Roughly chop the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and combine with the cauliflower, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and salt and pepper in a large soup pot. Cook over medium heat until vegetables soften and onions become translucent, about 20-25 minutes.
Add the bay leaf and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and purée soup until smooth.
Just prior to serving the soup, stir in the gouda, mustard, half-and-half and butter. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Continue cooking until cheese has melted and soup is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
In a small pan, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat and quickly fry the rosemary and prosciutto until crispy and aromatic.
Divide soup into bowls and garnish with the rosemary and prosciutto.
Makes 8-10 servings.