|Serving of Mike and Charlie's Cheese Soup|
I worked at a hospital around the corner from this great little neighborhood eatery and ate, on a routine basis, a take-out order of this soup paired with half a chicken salad sandwich. (That recipe is ALSO in the cookbook so I really scored!)
It was the cat's meow...the bee's knees...whatever saying you want to use that means damn good...well, that's what this soup was. Don't turn up your nose when you see the "American Cheese" ingredient. I admit to being surprised... I expected Cheddar...but I'm not judging, 'cause it just tastes so darn good. I had a little trouble finding a block of American Cheese...but the deli does have it at our local H.E.B. grocery store. I found a pre-grated bag blend of American Cheese and Cheddar which I decided to use. It worked fine, and the soup was delicious... but there was a subtle underlying flavor difference compared to my 1980s memories...just not quite the way I remembered it. I guess I'll try it again with regular American Cheese (not Velveeta) and see if it is "exactly" the way I remember it. Regardless, this recipe as I made it, even with the subtle difference was really delicious. Warning...it takes 3 pans to make this...I'm such a dufus I had to draw myself a picture to make sure I had it right as I set up. Sure enough...3 pans!
Here's the recipe. I am so glad it wasn't lost to those of us who loved it so dearly.
- 4 tablespoons margarine (yep, it says margarine not butter)
- 1/2 cup flour (this was too much for my roux...it only took slightly more than 1/4 cup - I actually had to discard the first batch of roux because I pushed the envelope and added the entire 1/2 cup and it was just a dry crumbly mixture...not the more "plaster-like" mixture that makes a good roux)
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (I think 1/2 teaspoon would have helped)
- 1/4 cup chopped yellow onions
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped carrots
- 1 pound American cheese, grated (used Kraft American & Cheddar shredded cheese mix)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup beer (used Dos Equis Amber - 'cause I AM in The Valley! I wonder, though, what kind of beer they used...beers all taste so different this can have a big impact on overall taste)
Make a smooth light brown roux by melting margarine and stirring in the flour until cooked.
|this is with 1/4 cup flour|
|1/4 cup of each veg is not a lot...but just right|
Heat the other half of the broth and add the cream to it. Slowly add the broth with the cream to the roux, whisking vigorously. Add beer and pepper.
|Beer and Pepper added - Don't boil the cream and roux -|
just thoroughly mix - it will thicken the soup perfectly
|All whisked together|
The author notes "Oh, is this ever good! You can cut the recipe down if you want but this soup goes fast."
I made a full batch...and I will likely have to share it with someone....maybe ;-) I do think I'll re-test this recipe with 100% American Cheese as it calls for...that may just be the missing link in my memory of taste! SCH friends...if you make it, let me know if it is as you remember it...and what kind of beer you use!
|Ready to serve - it looks just like I remembered it!|
I hope you enjoy this as much as I am!
Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!