2013 – Gluten Free Living
Canadian Cheese Soup is one of my favorite soups of all time. It is filled with red potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, cheese and ham. And I even snuck a leek into it this time. I love cooking with leeks. They add a really wonderful flavor to soups, casseroles, and stir-fries. This hearty soup is so filling and satisfying too. It’s thick and chunky because of the vegetables and smooth and creamy because of the cheese and cream. It’s not overly seasoned either and yet it tastes superb.
Back in the early 1990s I did a lot of catering for the Baptist Convention of New England for the many events they had throughout the year. Every year the convention would have a group of summer missionaries that would come to help out a mission church for about 8 weeks.
Before the summer missionaries (college students) were assigned to their particular ministry or church the convention would offer an orientation process which usually lasted a couple of days. One of those summer missionary orientations was held at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Cambridge. I was to provide a Friday evening meal, breakfast, lunch & dinner on Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday.
Anyway, it was decided that we would do a soup and salad luncheon on the Saturday of this meeting. I had tons of great salad & dessert recipes but NO soup recipes. I’m not kidding. I NEVER ate soup and had NO recipes. Thankfully, Susan Brindle, the wife of the Director of Missions for the Baptist Convention of New England stepped in. Susan suggested this recipe as one of the three soups we would offer that day.
I can’t remember how many batches of this recipe we made but it was a LOT! As I recall, Susan and Carolyn Allen, the wife of the Evangelism Director for the Baptist Convention of New England, handled all the soup stuff, and I took care of the salads, and rolls. And all of us worked together to make desserts.
I think I was feeding close to 100 because not only did the orientation include the summer missionaries but also the BCNE staff, church pastors/staff who would be working with them, and volunteers from Metropolitan church. Whew!
I don’t even remember the other soups we served that day. But I remember this soup. It was fabulous and very well received by the students. The kitchen workers always ate last and I’m not sure any of us got more than a few spoonfuls of this comforting chowder-type soup. All I knew is that I wanted the recipe.
I make this soup frequently now especially after I’ve made a spiral cut ham which I did a week and a half ago. This soup turns out delectable every time. As I said earlier, it doesn’t have a lot of seasoning it in–and you are welcome to add thyme, marjoram, rosemary, sage, or whatever you prefer–but actually, it really doesn’t need a lot of seasoning. It is quite flavorful just the way it’s given. I have no idea where Susan got the recipe, but I think it has been in her family for years.
If you’re looking for a thick, chunky, stick-to-the-ribs soup for cold winter nights than consider Canadian Cheese Soup. It’s comfort food at its best! I can’t get enough of this soup when I make it–it’s that good. I made it gluten free by using gluten free flour when I made the cheese sauce. Even though this soup is fairly healthy it is quite high in calories due to the cheese sauce and ham.
When I initially posted this recipe in April 2013, it was right before I started using my new Canon camera. The pictures were still taken with an iPhone. I’ve been remaking all those first year recipes so I can get better pictures with my Canon.
As a result, I remade this one (December 2015) from leftover holiday ham and ended up giving it to a dear friend who had been sick for several days. Along with some homemade French Bread and cupcakes, this soup and meal were a real hit and just what the doctor ordered. I have made this soup gluten free and with regular flour. Either way works wonderfully. You can’t go wrong with this delicious soup. I hope you’ll give it a try real soon.
Canadian Cheese Soup has flavor galore, and provides a taste bud explosion!
Let your teeth sink into some delicious leftover spiral cut ham, red potato chunks, carrots, and celery in a creamy cheese sauce and top it with diced green onions.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients for the soup. I used chicken broth instead of water. It really increases the taste.
Pour chicken broth into a large stock pot. Add unpeeled, cubed red potatoes, diced celery, sliced carrots and diced onion. Cut off green top and end of leek. Slice down. Add sliced leek to stock pot with other vegetables. Add sea salt and pepper. Stir everything in the stock pot together. Cover with lid and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
I used these ingredients for the cheese sauce.
Meanwhile, make cheese sauce: melt a stick of butter in a large saucepan. You can use gluten free flour or regular. Add flour to butter in sauce pan. Whisk to combine.
Add half-and-half or heavy whipping cream slowly and whisk each addition in fully before adding more. I usually add about 1/4 cup each time.
Stir cream to combine.
Add cheese. This recipe calls for one pound of cheese! That’s why it’s SOOOO good. Allow to heat at low to medium temperature until sauce thickens. Stir the cheese into the sauce until it is all melted. This may take 5-10 minutes.
The veggies in the pot are almost done.
Add cheese sauce to boiled veggies in Dutch oven.
Add ham. I used leftover cubed ham slices from the spiral cut ham I used for Apricot Glazed Ham. Add ham to cooked vegetables to heat through.
The soup has cooked a few minutes and it’s gotten nice and thick.
Every spoonful of Canadian Cheese Soup is amazing.
Canadian Cheese Soup is rich, hearty and satisfying.
Canadian Cheese Soup has flavor galore, and provides a taste bud explosion! . Doesn’t this look wonderful? I’m ready for a taste right now! Once sauce and veggies are combined, turn off heat and serve.
Here’s the recipe.
CANADIAN CHEESE SOUP
(Recipe adapted from Susan Brindle, when our husbands worked for the Baptist Convention of New England, Northborough, MA)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 4 medium potatoes, cubed
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- ½ cup onions, diced
- 1 leek, sliced
- 2 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 2 cups cooked, cubed ham
- Simmer first eight ingredients together until the vegetables are tender.
- Make a cheese sauce (ingredients below).
- Add the thickened cheese sauce to the vegetable soup.
- Add ham and heat through.
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all-purpose flour or regular all-purpose flour
- 1 qt. milk (I use half-and-half or cream)
- 1 lb. cheese, sharp (any kind and can be multiple kinds)
- Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk in flour to combine.
- Slowly add cream about 1/4 cup at a time until fully combined.
- Add cheese and stir until completely melted – about 5 minutes more.
- Add cheese sauce and ham to sauce pot with veggies.
- Stir to combine.
Canadian Cheese Soup is a great way to use up leftover holiday ham.
This is a great soup to serve company. Everyone always loves it.