This creamy cheese soup is great at parties. Let guests serve themselves and choose from fun garnishes such as popcorn, croutons, green onions and bacon bits. —Ann Huseby, Lakeville, Minnesota
- 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed and softened
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 can (12 ounces) beer, optional
- Optional Toppings: croutons, popcorn, crumbled cooked bacon, sliced green onions
- In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine the first eight ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
- Combine flour and water until smooth; stir into soup. Cover and cook on high 30 minutes longer or until soup is thickened.
- Stir in cream cheese and cheddar cheese until blended. Stir in beer if desired. Cover and cook on low until heated through. Serve with desired toppings. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Originally published as Savory Cheese Soup in Quick Cooking May/June 2000, p44
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