The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
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By lindabcooks
March 22, 2013 11:20 a.m.

I don’t know if The Groundhog was suffering from a migraine or the bad case of the flu when he made his prediction of an early spring, but the little rat was wrong, wrong, wrong. At least in the Northeast, Midwest, and a few other regions of the country.
I’m totally burned out with building yet another stew, stirring yet another pot of soup. In fact, I’ve heard a cook or two mention that they might consider The Groundhog as an ingredient. I guess he’d be a good substitute for the squirrel in Brunswick Stew.
I’ve long since run out of soup and stew recipes and I’m on my third or fourth go-around on many in my recipe box. And I’ve long since stopped caring, as much as I attack these things so enthusiastically at the first blizzard warnings. Maybe if I learned to bake bread …
Well, that’s a project for next winter, which I hope will be shorter, or at least less violently snowy. For now, as the stuff piles up on my front stairs, I’m cooking up something really decadent. Cheddar cheese soup. I like this after a morning of wrestling with the snow shovel. It’s also a great warmer after skiing or ice skating or sledding.
CHEDDAR CHEESE SOUP Makes 6 servings
pound bacon, cut crosswise into -inch pieces
to cup flour
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups milk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
Salt, pepper, to taste
  • In a skillet, fry the bacon. Remove about 2 tablespoons of the fat. Then, drain the bacon in a colander for a few minutes, transferring to paper towels.
  • Heat the bacon fat in a soup pot. Stir in the flour, cooking until smooth.
  • Gradually stir in chicken stock and milk, stirring, over medium heat until soup simmers and begins to thicken.
  • Add sage. Bring heat down to low. Stir in cheese until it melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the crispy cooked bacon over the top.
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