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This recipe came from a church cookbook, compiled many moons ago by faithful women from a church in Tulsa or Kingwood or Coppell (Mom had cookbooks from all these places). She’d pull this one out when the nights in Midland grew cold and sharp, with a bitter wind that whipped right through you. (The West Texas plains offer little protection from the wind. The joke is that there’s nothing between Texas and Canada but a barbed-wire fence, and two of the strands are down.)

My dad’s dad, who had high cholesterol, would beg for this soup when he came to visit in the winter – though he wasn’t supposed to have it, because of the cheese content. But Mom would usually give in and make it anyway. And Papaw loved her for it. My cheese-loving husband adores it, and I hope you will too.

Chicken Cheese Soup
4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2-3 chopped carrots
3-4 diced potatoes
1 stick butter
1 T chili powder
8 oz Velveeta or cheddar cheese
1 quart milk
Salt & pepper to taste

Boil chicken breasts whole in chicken broth or water (broth gives them a better flavor, I think). Remove chicken from broth and add vegetables, chili powder and butter. Cook 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Add chicken (now diced) and cook 5 minutes. Add cheese and let melt. (I know Velveeta is fake, but it melts more smoothly than cheddar. Just sayin’.) Add milk a few minutes before serving. Taste and season if you wish.

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