Cheese Soup

I found this recipe in The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, originally published in 1896. Fannie Farmer’s name is still well-known today.

Stock, water enriched by the food cooked in it, is an important ingredient in numerous soups. Homemade stock brings full-bodied flavor to soups and sauces. The recipe for the beef stock used in this recipe is found  here.

To make this soup, finely chop enough onion to give 1 tablespoon.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the onion to the melted butter, cooking until the onion is limp. Stir in 1 tablespoon of flour. The recipe said to stir and cook this for 3 minutes, but mine started to brown after about 90 seconds. I’d suggest cooking this about 1 ½ minutes.

Slowly add 1 cup of beef stock (or 1 cup of beef bouillon or beef broth) and 2 cups of milk. Stirring frequently, heat until it boils.

Turn off the heat and stir in ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese. To achieve a creamier consistency, I added 2 slices of American cheese.

The recipe then calls for 2 teaspoons of paprika. I tasted the soup without it and enjoyed the flavor. Then I added paprika, which gave the soup a bit of zing that I also liked. Try it both ways to see which you prefer.

Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of paprika. The color of the soup made me think it wasn’t going to taste “cheesy” enough, but it did. I liked it.

This recipe makes 3 one-cup servings. Enjoy!

-Sandra Merville Hart


Revised by Cunningham, Marion and Laber, Jeri. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, Alfred A Knopf Inc., 1983.