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Helen Corbitt's Cheese Soup

Helen Corbitt served this famous soup during her tenure as the head chef of the 1886 Cafe & Bakery at Austin's Driskill Hotel. Later, Chef David Bull recreated it, and it is still served served there today. It's a perfect companion to one of their amazing salads.

Corbitt's original cheese soup recipe appears in her famous Helen Corbitt's Cookbook from 1957.

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, minced
  • 1/2 cup celery, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 dash cayenne or to taste
  • 1 dash paprika or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 pound grated Velveeta or mild Cheddar
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper or to taste
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Over medium-high heat, saute the onions, carrots and celery until translucent and tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cornstarch. Cook about 3 to 5 more minutes. Add stock and milk gradually, blending until smooth, and reduce by 1/4. Do not allow to boil at any point. Add baking soda and cheese and stir until melted and thickened, about 10 minutes.

Add parsley, cayenne, and paprika. Keep soup warm over very low heat or in a double boiler if not using immediately. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

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