Adapted from my mother and my Vermont auntie Marcy’s recipe. The original recipe, which calls for pancetta and chicken stock, can be found here.
- Worcestershire sauce is not vegetarian, so if you are adhering to a vegetarian diet, omit it, or seek out a vegetarian/vegan variety of Worcestershire sauce.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 to 4 cups diced onions, from 2 to 3 onion
- 2 to 3 cups diced celery, from 1 small head
- 3 to 4 cups diced carrots, 5 to 6 carrots
- 2 to 4 cups diced red bell pepper, from 2 peppers
- 2 to 3 cups diced, peeled red potato, from 4 to 5
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- A few sprigs of thyme, leaves removed from stems
- 6 cups vegetable stock or water
- 12 ounces beer
- 3.5 cups milk, 2% or whole
- 4 cups grated cheddar cheese, about 1 lb.
- 2/3 cup flour
- dashes Worcestershire, see notes above
- dashes hot sauce
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Bread for serving
- Heat the oil in a large pot over high heat. When it shimmers, add the onions, carrots, celery, and pepper. Season with a big pinch of kosher salt. Give it a stir. Cover the pot and immediately turn the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the thyme, potato, and stock, and simmer until the potato is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the beer.
- Heat the milk in a separate pot until it just barely boils. Place the cheese in a large bowl, and toss it with the 2/3 cup flour. Add this cheese-flour mixture to the hot milk and stir until the cheese has melted and the mixture has thickened slightly.
- Add the milk mixture to the pot with vegetables and stock. Add the mustard, sauces, and salt and pepper to taste — I add at least 2 teaspoons kosher salt. At this point, it’s important to stir often as the ingredients will try to stick to the bottom of the pot. Simmer gently for at least 10 minutes. The soup will thicken as time goes on — as the liquids reduce and as the potato continues to release starch as it breaks down.
- Taste again before serve with bread.
- Prep Time: 60 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Soup
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: cheddar, cheese, soup, vegetarian