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Cheddar Vegetable Soup

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped 3 carrots, chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken broth
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 to 1 1/2 cups half-n-half
1 cup steamed broccoli florets
3 to 4 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
Tabasco, to taste

In a large heavy pot melt the butter over moderately high heat and cook the onions, celery, and carrots for 5 to 7 minutes, or until just tender. Add the flour and stir to coat, cooking for another minute. Stir in the white wine and stir to combine. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a simmer.

Add the diced potato and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender. Stir in 1 cup of the half-n-half. Stir in the broccoli and reduce heat to moderately low. Add the Cheddar a handful at a time, stirring after each handful until melted. Do not allow soup to boil.

If soup is too thick, stir in additional half-n-half to achieve desired consistency. Season soup with nutmeg, salt, pepper, mustard and Tabasco.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine