When I decided I wanted to try cooking my way through the Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year I knew there was one recipe that was going to be a MUST! The Cheddar Cheese Soup from the Canada kiosk is absolutely one of my favorite things to have at the festival. I don’t just go back for seconds, I go back for thirds, fourths, fifths, etc.! But, I have to admit this was actually the recipe I was most scared of attempting. Every week when I was just to figure out which recipe I was going try for the following week, this soup would be the first thing on my mind, but inevitably my fear would win out and I would go with a different recipe. When I realized that this was going to be last week of the Food and Wine Festival, and ultimately the end of my festival recipe highlights I knew it now or never, ok well maybe not never, but if I really wanted to included it in this series of recipes I had to try now! And, I honestly can’t tell you what I was so afraid of, like all the other recipes I’ve tried this one was pretty easy, and it’s definitely the easiest soup recipe I’ve ever made. But, I’m not going to lie, there a few worrisome moments here and there, but I think that was just because I wasn’t aware of how things would go during the cooking process. But, have no fear, now that I know what to expect I can help you navigate those worrisome moments! And, I promise you on blustery fall day or a cold winter’s night, you are going to be so glad you have this soup recipe handy!
Makes 6 cups
1/2 pound of bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
4 cups milk
1 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce (you can definitely leave this out if want to)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pale ale, room temperature
Chopped scallions or chives, for garnish
1. Cook bacon in a 4- or 5-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Add onion, celery and butter; sauté until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Add flour and stir constantly for about 4 minutes. Ok so this was my first “what the heck” moment after adding the flour to the butter, bacon, and veggies, it is going to look a little weird, but DON’T worry that’s what its suppose to look like.)
4. Whisk in chicken stock and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (And this was my “I totally screwed this recipe up” moment. After you add the chicken broth, the whole thing is going to get very thick. For lack of better word, it kind of looked like goo to me. Again, DO NOT be scarred this is the consistency you want so just go with it!)
5. Add milk and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. Do not boil after adding milk.
6. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, Tabasco, Worcestershire, salt and pepper until cheese is melted and soup is smooth. Stir in ale. If soup is too thick, thin to desired consistency with warm milk. (For this step I chose to stir the cheese into the soup a little at a time. I felt like if I just dumped in the whole thing I would be trying to incorporate a giant cheese ball into this soup.)
7. Serve hot, garnished with scallions or chives.
See, now that wasn’t so hard was it? I promise you this soup will be hit every time you make it! As fall rolls on and moves into winter I think this recipe is going to come in quite handy for a warm little pick me up!
So that’s it, the last recipe in this series highlighting items from past and present Epcot Food and Wine Festivals. I hope I’ve brought you a good variety of foods from different countries and that you have enjoyed this little culinary journey I have taken you on these last few weeks. That’s the thing I love most about the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, you can really learn so much about a country just by experiencing their foods, and you didn’t even need to get on a plane to do it! I hope this recipe and the others in this series have shown you just how easy it is for you to be an international gourmet! As always remember than anyone can bring the magic of Disney and the Epcot Food and Wine Festival to your kitchen at home! All you need is a little faith, a bit of trust, and pinch of pixie dust never hurts. As always have a magical meal!
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, I’m always happy to hear from you! And if you try these recipes let me know what you thought about them!
Be sure to keep checking The Disney Foodie for more magical Disney recipes, dining tips and suggestions, restaurant highlights, and much much more!
Written by Meghan Blair, the “Disney Foodie” — As a Florida Resident, Meghan combines her love of Disney and her love of food!
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