Last week it was ice cream, but this week it’s all about soup. It might seem a bit incongruent, but it’s pretty representative of the weather we’ve been having these days in Chicago. Somedays it’s nothing but blinding sunshine and I find myself practically skipping to work in a dresses and open toe shoes. Other days come with an unrelenting chill I cannot shake off at the door. Unfortunately for me, most days this week have been falling into the latter camp.
I’ve turned up the furnace. I’ve tried bubble baths with scalding hot water and cuddling up with thick fleece blankets, but nothing seemed to really warm me up. I blame our previously unseasonably warm temperatures. Once you’ve hit the 80′s in March, 30′s and 40′s seem practically arctic. So I made soup.
This Carrot and Goat’s Milk Cheddar is the perfect antidote to the most brisk of days.
The base of the soup is classic – sliced leeks, celery and carrots lightly sautéed in butter before adding broth and whole milk. But my favorite ingredient on the list, and arguably the one thing that takes this from a standard soup to an exciting one is the goat’s milk cheddar. Given my obsession with goat cheeses, this is probably not a surprise. I love how a goat’s milk cheddar has all the savoriness and nuttiness I love from a cheddar with a pronounceable tang from the goat’s milk. When shredded and stirred into the pureed soup it melts into a creamy, silkiness. If you cannot find or don’t like goat’s milk cheddar you could certainly substitute cow’s milk cheddar, but this soup is a fun introduction to this kind of cheese if you’ve never tried it before. I’m hoping once you do you’ll be as hooked on goat’s milk cheddar as I am and highly recommend buying double the amount of cheese this recipe calls for in case you’d like to do some snacking while you cook.
Adapted from The South American Table
-1 tablespoon unsalted butter
-2 medium leeks, sliced and thoroughly rinsed
-1 stalk celery, sliced
-1 pound carrots, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
-4 cups broth (I used chicken, but you could use vegetable to make this vegetarian)
-1 cup whole milk, warmed
-4 ounces goat’s milk cheddar, shredded
-Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a heavy 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks celery, and carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables just begin to soften and leeks become translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce the heat to low, and cook until soft, about 20 minutes.
Stir the milk into the soup and puree using an immersion or regular blender, working in batches if necessary. Transfer back to the saucepan if using a traditional better and stir in shredded cheddar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.