Recipe- Cheddar Cheese Soup

We ate a ton of soup earlier this year. This was one of our absolute favorites. The original recipe came from Epcot Food and Wine Festival Cookbook. I changed things up a little, but I think it’s just as good as the soup served at Food and Wine.

Here is the version we ate at Epcot in 2010. (along with chicken sausage and polenta from the Canadian booth).


And here’s my version.


1 onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 TB butter
1 cup flour
3 cups chicken stock
4 cups milk
1 pound grated cheddar cheese
1 TB hot sauce
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, melt butter on Medium heat. Add celery and onion, cooking until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add flour and stir constantly for 4 minutes. Whisk in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add milk and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. Do not let soup get hot enough to boil.

Remove from heat and add in cheese, hot sauce, and W sauce. If soup is too thick (which mine usually is) add more milk.

This soup is fantastic served with fresh bread, like my Cheesy Onion Bread

Chicken noodle soup

This is my favorite soup. It’s one of the very first recipes I ever made up on my own, basing it on the chicken and rice soup at Demo’s, my very favorite restaurant in Nashville. It’s pretty different than theirs, most notably with noodles instead of rice. The good thing about this recipe is that it’s very adaptable. You can use rice if you prefer, just adjust the cooing time since rice takes longer to cook than noodles. This is the “quick” version where I use caned chicken instead of fresh, but you can absolutely use chicken that you’ve cooked yourself. It’s great when made with leftover Slow Cooker Chicken as well.

1 TB oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped or shredded carrot
1 cup mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cartons chicken broth (48 oz. each)
2 cups chicken, cooked and cut into small pieces (I usually use canned chicken)
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (I like mine garlicky, so you can skip this f you’re not a big garlic fan)
1 tsp. dried parsley, or 1 TB fresh, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 bag egg noodles (I use no yolks)

Heat oil in a large pot. Sauté onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic over medium heat until veggies are soft. Add broth to veggies in the pot. Add chicken and spices and let broth come to a boil. Add noodles and cook until noodles are soft, about 8-10 minutes.

This soup is especially good with fresh bread to soak up the broth.

Recipes I made (February 19-March 14)

I didn’t do a whole lot of cooking at the end of February because of the trip, but here is what I’ve made the past month or so.

My favorite Shrimp Salad– I could eat this every day. I originally got it from Oxygen magazine.

1 container field greens (I use organic from WalMart)
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined (I usually just use salad shrimp)
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can mandarin orange segments, drained
1/4 cup green onions (I’ve also used chopped red onion)
Honey mustard dressing (I use Ken’s Steak House)

Combine all salad ingredients and finish off with honey mustard dressing.

I also made Vegetarian Lentil Soup, another recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen. Not a pretty soup, but very tasty.

We watched an episode of the Sandwich King, and he inspired two recipes in one week.

Meatloaf Sandwiches and Tomato Soup

I made a couple more recipes, but they were not successes. Apparently my slow cooker wasn’t working properly. I wish I’d figured that out before I ruined two pots of soup.

I also made my favorite Tricked Out Tuna Salad Sandwiches.

So I’m having a bit of a conundrum over what constitutes “healthy” in my 52 in 52 Challenge. The tomato soup definitely counts as a new healthy recipe. Not so sure about the meatloaf. Can meatloaf be healthy? So I’ve decided that I’m going to use “healthy” in the broadest sense of the word… anything that isn’t dessert, fried, or cocktails is going to be healthy. For now, at least. So this post will count as 2 healthy recipes. 4 out of 52 total so far.

Recipes I made (February 12-18)

After over a week of Jason cooking tasty food for me, I was ready to get cooking again.

I tried two new recipes this week. One from Jason’s Pinterest board.

Summer Peach and Balsamic Pizza from Love and Olive Oil

I altered this one quite a bit, using 2 ready made whole wheat Boboli pizza crusts instead of making my own dough. I made one peach pizza and another tomato basil pizza with delicious fresh tomatoes from Jason’s coworker. We really liked these. I don’t think I’ve cooked with goat cheese before, and I really enjoyed the tanginess of it against the sweetness of the peaches.

The other one was  from Kaylin’s Kitchen, my favorite South Beach Diet recipe sites.

Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup with Cilantro and Green Tobasco

Really delicious soup. I love almost any black bean soup, but the green tobacco was a great touch. I let the soup simmer a lot longer than required and it turned out fine, so I’ll probably omit the water next time if I need to cook it quicker.

The soup and pizzas will count towards two new healthy recipes in my 52 in 52 weeks Challenge.

I also made an old favorite this week, Fish Tacos. The original recipe came from Rachael Ray’s Get Real Meals cookbook called Paco’s Fish Tacos. I’ve modified it a bit over the years.

Fish Tacos

2 pounds tilapia (original recipe calls for grouper or halibut, but I like tilapia better)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 jalepeno, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 red onion
3 T dijon mustard
2 T red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
flour tortillas
1 lime
Hot sauce

Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray. Heat pan and add fish. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove from pan

Place jalepeno, cilantro, onion, mustard, vinegar, and oil in food processor and whir together.

Arrange fish on tortillas and add sauce. Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce.

Makes 4 tacos