Cheese and smoky bacon soup with celery
This cheese soup recipe is a good base for any cheese soup. I've not suggested any specific cheeses, just try it with your favourite. It's a good way of using up odd bits of cheese, if using stale cheese, grate it very finely.
- 25 g (1 oz) butter
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stick of celery, finely sliced - run a speed-peeler along the back to remove any tough strings
- 25 g (1 oz) plain flour
- 275 ml (1/2 pint) full cream milk
- 275 ml (1/2 pint) chicken or vegetable stock
- 100 g (4 oz) cheese of choice, such as strong Cheddar cheese, grated
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 rashers of lean smoked bacon or home smoked bacon
- Grill the bacon until crispy then allow to cool so it can be handled
- Melt the butter in a pan, give a good grind of black pepper and gently sauté the onion and celery without colouring, about 10 minutes
- Remove from the heat, stir in the flour and gradually whisk in the milk and stock
- Slowly bring to the boil and stir well until the soup starts to thicken.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes then add the cheese and season with salt and extra pepper if needed. Stir well and simmer for a further 5 minutes
- Thin with a little milk or cream if desired
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