- I usually start by cutting up about 15 or so small carrots (the kind that come pre-peeled in a bag). This number does not include what ends up going to the dogs as it flies off the cutting board onto the floor. I suppose there ends up being about a cup or less of carrots when I'm done.
- Next, I peel and cut up about 4-5 medium potatoes. I end up with somewhere around 2-3 cups of potatoes. Also not including what I donate to the dogs.
- I usually cut up celery and onions as well. I have discovered over the years that it is best to saute these items for a bit to help them soften quicker in the pot. I saute them in butter until they are on the verge of turning clear. You don't want to saute them for too long, as you want them to soak up the cheesy flavor.
- I like to add frozen peas and corn. I usually add the peas about an hour or so before we eat the soup, as my mother always told me if I added them in at the beginning they would fall apart and disappear before you were ready to eat it.
- Combine all of the veggies in a pot, slow cooker, or whatever you desire to cook in. The best is something that you can cook it on a low heat for a few hours. This gives the veggies time to soak up the broth. Add enough water to the pot to just cover the veggies.
- I then add all of my favorite spices. You can add what suits you, but you should add some chicken bouillon as well as salt and pepper. I usually put in some oregano, sage, crushed red pepper, and anything else that smells like it would go well in the soup that night. Feel free to experiment here. I do.
- Now for the part I always hate, making the cheese sauce. Add about 3-4 tablespoons of butter into a pan and melt it. Don't turn the heat up too high. Once the butter has melted, start adding flour while stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Add flour until the combination is like cookie dough. Then add about 1/2-1 cup of milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. The mixture should be thick, like a heavy gravy.
- Now add about 1/2-3/4 of a 15 oz jar of Cheez Wiz, depending on how cheesy you want the soup. I suppose you could substitute Velveeta if you desire. Now stir like a crazy woman. Warning: You arm WILL get sore. :) Stir until all of the contents in the pan are smooth and thick.
- Pour the cheese mixture into your vegetable pot and stir, stir, stir, until all of the lumps are gone, and the mixture is smooth.
- Turn on the heat to a low setting. If you were doing this on a stove, I would think medium heat or just below would suffice. In a crock pot, set it to half way between low and high.
- The hard work is done. Stir the mixture every now and then and take in the delicious aroma. Taste test every hour or so to ensure the veggies are cooking and everything tastes great.
- When ready, and if desired, heat up some brown and serve rolls.
- Dish up your soup, butter your roles, and enjoy!
The best part is the leftovers always heat well and go down just as good the second time. We're actually having our leftovers tonight. :)