My name is Donna and I am a soup-a-holic.
As soon as there is a chill in the air every autumn, I begin daydreaming about soups. Creamy soups. Brothy soups. Spicy soups. Anything made into soups. And what’s better than a steamy bowl of veggie soup? A steamy bowl of veggie soup with cheese cubes!
One of my current obsessions is this soup. It has chunks of all kinds of veggies in a flavorful broth. But what makes this soup craveable is the chunks of cheese added in just before serving. And not just any cheese, but a non-melting kind of cheese like queso fresco. The chunks of cheese become little flavor sponges and soak up the broth and become soft and tender and, well . . . my mouth is watering just typing these words!
My dad is one of those folks with impeccable, classic taste in everything, even food. When we go to my favorite restaurant on the planet, El Charro, their Caldo de Queso soup is one of his favorites, and he orders it almost every time I am with him.
So, on my recent visit home, mom and I decided to try a home version. Result: Bliss in a Bowl! The key is the cheese, and cutting it into small cubes and tossing them in at the last minute. My mom is one of those amazing cooks who can adapt recipes from just tasting them. I love to be with her when she experiments in the kitchen – we have a great time laughing, tasting, conspiring together.
So here, southwest food fans, is Carol’s latest creation for your culinary pleasure!
CALDO DE QUESO
Serves 6 to 8
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 tablespoon oregano leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 cups veggie stock or chicken stock
Kernels from one corn cob ( about 1 cup)
2 medium red potatoes, diced
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1 cup roasted green chiles, diced
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons milk
8 ounces quesco fresco, diced
8 ounces panela or medium cheddar cheese, diced
Sautee onion, carrot, celery and garlic in oil until all veggies are beginning to soften. Add stock, potatoes, corn, green chiles and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes, until potatoes are soft.
In a separate pan, cook flour in butter until a pale brown color. Stir in milk. Add mixture into soup. Add cheese just before serving.