Simon Pearce Vermont Cheddar Soup
From A Way of Living
1/2 cup coarsely grated carrots
1/2 cup minced celery
8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
4 cups (946 ml) hot chicken stock
3 cups (345 grams / 12 ounces) grated extra-sharp Vermont cheddar cheese, divided into 2 batches
1 cup (236 ml) half-and-half
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the carrots and celery for 30 seconds. Drain, shock in an ice bath, and set aside.
2. In a 4-quart pot set over low heat melt the butter. Add the onion, thyme, and bay leaf, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Decrease the heat to low and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, until the flour and onion come together, and the roux (flour butter mixture) begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, 1 cup at at time, making sure the liquid is at a boil the entire time, and whisk until smooth.
3. Working in 2 batches, stir in the cheddar until the cheese is completely melted into the soup. Stir in half-and-half, and the reserved carrots and celery. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with parsley.