There are soups I could eat a whole bowl… and leave wanting more.
There are some I stand at the cook-top eating out of the pot – never even bothering to ladle it up and at least pretend to be civilized.
… and then there are those where you can just hook up a nozzle and hose me down with it..
This is one of those soups.
Cheese soups are kind of the red-haired step child of the soup family – Part sauce, Part soup, Part fondue. A cheese soup really isn’t much more than cheese and cream, However, for the lactose intolerant Turtle Creek crowd, getting the proportions just right where it is the balance of richness, cheesy goodness and palatable texture takes a bit of work.
You all know I have this unnatural love affair with buttermilk. And being that Cultured Whole Buttermilk is lactose free, it is the base of a lot of dairy type things I do here at the cottage.
I’m calling this a Lactose Free Soup because of the ingredients – and in order to keep it lactose free, the types of products I’ve mentioned have to be used – or it will end up being regular soup. Cultured Whole Buttermilk and Cultured Butter both have enzymes that remove the lactose. Cabot’s Seriously Sharp cheese is a long aged cheddar with a terrific bite. Long aged cheeses (like the cheddar and hard Italian cheeses) all have had sufficient time to break down the lactose and render them safe. You wont have to use a lot to get that flavor coming through.
Since buttermilk curdles rapidly when introduced to heat, we’ve jiggered the additions to add the buttermilk in last so the other emulsifiers and thickeners help to protect the delicate dairy to maintain the thickness and tang.
So, about that soup…
Buttermilk Cheese Soup
1 Tablespoon Cultured Butter
1 Tablespoon AP Flour
1 Cup Lactose Free Whole Milk
1 Cup Cultured Whole Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Cabots Seriously Sharp White Cheddar – Grated
1/2 Cup Desiccated Grated Parmesan (this is the stuff that comes in the little shaker container…. The one you normally shake on your pizza or pasta)
1 Egg – Beaten
1/4 Cup Parsley – Minced
Tools of the Trade:
Medium Sauce Pan
In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk around until there are no lumps, it begins to thicken a bit, and the color turns a deep creamy color. (about 2 minutes)
Add the whole milk and continue to whisk until the soup base begins thicken.
Fold in the Parmesan cheese and stir until the graininess disappears (another minute or so), then stir in the cheddar.
Once the cheese has melted and incorporated into the soup, remove from the heat and vigorously whisk in the egg.
While still whisking, gradually add the buttermilk. Return the pan back to the heat and reduce to low; continue whisking until the soup looks smooth and silky. (another 2 minutes)
Serve immediately with a couple grates of fresh nutmeg on top and a little fresh parsley.
and – if you’re feeling a little adventurous, add some cooked corned beef, shredded cooked cabbage and some potatoes to make a lighter version of our Corned Beef Chowder – you know… since THAT DAY is right around the corner