Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cheese Soup


The title of this soup really doesn't do it justice. It should be called "Cheesy Veggie Chicken-y Bacon-y Yumminess". This is, by far, my most favorite soup. Can you see all those veggies packed in there? Can you see the bacon and the chicken? Can you see the yumminess? It is slightly high maintenance, but worth every pan that you dirty.
Cheese Soup
Adapted by Carolyn
original recipe from Megan
6 c. water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 c. celery, diced (Ick. I hate crunching celery in cooked foods so I omit this)
1/2 c. onion, diced
3 c. potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 (20 oz.) package frozen broccoli, cauliflower, carrot blend
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 jar of Ragu Cheese Sauce (this is found with the spaghetti and Alfredo sauce)
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
4 slices well cooked bacon, chopped
In a large pot combine the water, bouillon cubes, celery, onion and potatoes. Boil ingredients for 20-25 minutes or until cooked. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook your frozen vegetables according to the package directions (maybe even slightly less). Drain the liquid from that pan and when your large pot of vegetables is cooked, add the broccoli, cauliflower and carrot blend to it.
In another saucepan, over low heat, combine your cream of chicken soup and cheese sauce until smooth (the original recipe calls for 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. of Velveeta Cheese in place of the Ragu. This is also delicious, but more pricey than the Ragu sauce and I think the flavor is just as good with the Ragu.)
While all of my vegetables are cooking, I usually cook my chicken, then my bacon, both in the microwave. Shred the chicken and chop the bacon and stir them into the large pot. Then add your cheese mixture to the large pot and stir gently until combined. This will take a few minutes of stirring, but don't get to hasty and start mashing up your soft vegetables.
One of the great things about this recipe is that it is so easy to adapt to what you have. I usually add more potatoes and more fresh carrots. You could use all fresh vegetables if you would like. You can omit what you don't like. It also makes a lot of soup so I usually take a bowl to someone else, feed my family, eat it for leftovers and still have enough to freeze for later. It is just a big ol' pot of cheesy yumminess!

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