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Joanna Gaines' White Cheddar Bisque

White Cheddar Bisque

byJoanna Gaines
Total 35 mins, includes cooling time
Active 15 mins
Makes 4 to 6 servings
"Serve this rich bisque with thick slices of crusty bread, such as warm ciabatta or a baguette. I like to put out a couple of shallow dishes of really good olive oil on the table to dip the bread in. I also like to top the bisque with crème fraîche, which is creamier, thicker, and less tangy than sour cream. The bacon and chives on top add a bit of crunchy texture to the velvety bisque." – Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Table, Volume 1
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium white onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 thick-cut bacon slice
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup dry white wine (optional)
  • One 32-ounce box chicken broth or 4 cups Homemade Chicken Broth (page 216)
  • 1 pound sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper or to taste
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • Crumbled Bacon (see page 103; optional)
  • ¼ cup minced chives, for garnish
    1. In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and bacon slice and cook until the onion is tender and translucent, about 6 minutes.
    2. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
    3. Sir in the wine (if using) or a little of the chicken broth and use a spoon to scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan.
    4. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and when the broth stops bubbling, stir in the Cheddar until well combined. Slowly add the cream, stirring constantly. Add the salt and white pepper.
    5. When the cheese has melted and the soup is fully combined, remove and discard the bacon slice. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth and velvety. (Alternatively, let cool slightly and, working in batches as necessary, process in a stand blender until smooth, filling the blender no more than half full and removing the little steam vent from the lid.)
    6. Ladle into bowls or mugs and top each serving with a spoonful of crème fraîche, a scattering of crumbled bacon (if using), and a pinch of fresh chives. Serve hot.
    7. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.