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DIY Disney Food: Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup from Le Cellier

Every month, our resident Chef BigFatPanda puts together his amazing step-by-step, photo-filled posts where he and Chef Mickey show you their adventures in the kitchen cooking up Disney goodies! Today, Chef BigFatPanda’s DIY Disney Recipes brings us a classic…!

Hello! Chef BigFatPanda here! Are you ready for a new recipe?

So, I hope you heard by now that I have my own column here on the Disney Food Blog. In fact, you’re reading it right now. I am very excited and honored to have this home to share my passion of Disney and cooking with you. I hope you enjoy these recipes and my attempt at entertainment as much as I enjoy bringing it to you.

I realize it’s summer and soup might not initially sound like a good idea, but it’s one of my favorite things to eat. With all the hoopla over the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival preview, I remembered how much I loved that Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup over at Canada’s Le Cellier restaurant. As I re-imagined the velvety, creamy, cheesy goodness and bacon overtones, the whole summer soup argument was over. Soup won! :-)

Le Cellier's Famous Cheddar Cheese Soup

CANADIAN CHEDDAR CHEESE SOUP (Le Cellier)

As usual, the recipe’s instructions will be bolded for easy reference should you wish to print this out and skip my banter.

Interesting fact: Disney has published at least 2 varying versions of this recipe. I made it years ago from a Disney cookbook (whose name escapes me), but this version is much easier and did, in fact, yield the same results. It’s exactly what you get when you walk up to that little festival booth with “Peachy Vigor” awaiting your small dose of cheddar ecstasy.

One other thing worth mentioning before we get serious: sometimes Hidden Mickeys show up when you least expect them…Just sayin… :-)

Cheddar Cheese Soup Ingredients

YOU WILL NEED

¼ pound of Smoked Bacon (finely chopped)
1 Medium Red Onion (finely chopped)
½ cup Celery (finely chopped)
½ cup Carrot (finely chopped)
3 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
3 cups of Whole Milk (scalded)
2 cups of Chicken Stock (scalded)
12 ounces of Grated or Shredded White Cheddar Cheese
3 dashes of Hot Sauce
½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
½ cup Beer (Dark Ale preferred)
salt and pepper to taste
chopped chives for garnish

Those of you who follow the column regularly will know how I feel about ingredients, but it pays to repeat it here for new readers: Do not let the ingredients intimidate you. If you are unable to find white cheddar, go with yellow. If you don’t have a dark beer, go with a lighter one. Will there be flavor variations? Of course, but I always think it is better to COOK than NOT TO COOK!

Some of the ingredients are to be “Scalded” as per our list. So, prior to cooking, I took the Milk and Chicken Stock out back and gave it to them good! “How dare you look at me like that!!!”

Alright, I know it’s not “Scolded,” but this is a cheesy recipe and that was some cheesy comedy I couldn’t pass on. Before I explain what scalding is, let me tell you that I found it unnecessary. As long as your ingredients are room temperature and not cold, you will be fine. I know this because Disney’s other published version of this recipe does not call for scalding and I have successfully made it that way.

Scalding milk is to bring it to an “almost” boil to keep the proteins from forming on the surface and keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Let’s prepare our Bacon and Vegetables as we will be using them first. How can we finely chop bacon? Let’s face it, bacon is slimy and doesn’t cut very well. It would stick to the blades of a food processor or a chopper. We need to freeze it for a little while — so put the bacon in the freezer until it is almost frozen, or freeze it and allow it to partially thaw. This puts it into a state where we can cut it finely with some good sharp scissors without much hassle. It’s just time consuming. I am open to other suggestions or ideas. You can’t cook it first or use anything like bits that are not fresh. I do have to thank my Mom for the freezing suggestion as I was seriously perplexed at how to finely chop bacon. I was! :-)

Finely Chopping Bacon

I really suggest getting one of these small food choppers for vegetables. I think this one cost $19.95 and I have used it so often.

I cut the carrots and onion into large chunks and let the chopper do the rest. The celery is not a good chopper candidate because of its stringy makeup, but it’s easy enough to slice thin. Mickey did help me and was very proud of our vegetable preparations.

Mickey Shows Off Chopped Veggies

1. Saute’ the bacon in large, heavy-bottom, non-reactive soup pot over medium heat until wilted but not browned.


A non-reactive pot is simply one that will not react with acids. Glass or stainless steel, as I used, is best.  A non-damaged nonstick coated pot could be used with little interference if nothing else is available.

Stainless Steel Pot

Regarding the bacon, I’d like you to “go rogue.” Cook it until it’s browned and almost crisp — ignoring the recipe. I’ll explain in the next step.

2. Add Onion, Celery, and Carrots and cook until onions are translucent and bacon has crisped.

At this point, it’s a party! The aromatics will start to smell wonderful in this bacon and veggie concoction you’ve got going. MMMmmm.

Veggies in the Pot

The addition of the vegetables brings so much natural moisture that getting the bacon to a “crisp” was almost impossible. It was steamy and moist at this point. I surmise that Disney is cooking in an industrial sized pot with a much larger bottom allowing the bacon to crisp on the pots surface area. In the home environment, we don’t have that surface space available to continue the crisping process as the veggies take over that space. So, I would just crisp that bacon more in the beginning. You are not going to want little rubbery fatty pieces floating in your soup.

3. Sprinkle in Flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Stir in Milk and Stock, a little at a time, blending well to ensure that there are no lumps. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

Can I tell you how hard it was to take pictures at this point? Mickey was a lifesaver :-)

Basically, what we are doing in this step is creating a Roux. A mixture of fat and flour used as a thickening agent for a sauce, or in this case, soup. It is important to incorporate the flour slowly to avoid lumps.

The mid result of this step is like a mud ball of veggies and bacon. It looks a little gross to be honest but, oh boy does it become delicious soon. I can only imagine how huge the batches of this stuff at Epcot are to keep up with the demand.

Veggies Cooking

When the Milk and Stock are incorporated, it becomes a creamy liquid as seen here.

Roux

4. Remove from heat and whisk in the Cheese, Hot Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce and Beer. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

It’s satisfying to see the cheese melt in and you can tell a transformation is going on.
I definitely needed to add salt but be careful  not to add too much. You really want to taste flavor and not just salt. You can always add more salt later, but can never take it back.

5. Sprinkle with chives and serve

Mickey and Soup

This soup is like a meal, especially with a good piece of crusty bread. It’s hearty and filling and a little goes a long way. I simply put my leftover soup into a tupperware and into the refrigerator where it will keep for up to a week.

It’s a somewhat challenging recipe but I really encourage you to try it. Please let me know if you plan to make it? Please let me know if you have. What did you think?

Thank you for allowing me into your kitchen and keep wishing upon those stars! Until next time, this is Chef BigFatPanda giving you all a BIG, WARM virtual HUG!

John
@DisneyWorlds
www.ChefBigFatPanda.com

Thanks again, John! Remember, all, you can watch for Chef BigFatPanda’s column posts right here! Who knows what he’ll make for us next month!

This post is part of the DisMarks Disney Blog Carnival, 7th Edition! To see more great posts, check out DisMarks.com!

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35 Comments

  1. Henry Work says:

    WANT. Thanks John!

  2. SharonC says:

    Love this soup. But love even more the incredible macaroni and cheese at Le Cellier. I have searched for that recipe for years, even emailed Disney, but no joy. Does anyone have that recipe?

  3. Janna says:

    It may be 100 degrees here but I am heading out for these ingredients. YUM!

  4. Dana says:

    I’ve made this soup before—it does come out quite good!
    I only saw 2 hidden mickeys—should I keep searching for more? I’m trying to get some practice in before my trip next week!

  5. Cody says:

    YUM! Prepared me for my Le Cellier ADR on Friday…

  6. AJ says:

    Henry — I want, too! Sounds perfect for lunch!

    Sharon — I don’t have the recipe :-( Maybe we can get Cody to ask for it when he’s there on Friday!

    Janna — I’m coming to your house for dinner!

    Dana — You found ‘em! There were 2 hidden Mickeys in the post!

    Cody — You are such a lucky duck!

  7. Jim says:

    I made this a few months ago out of the Disney cookbook. I used a hard cider instead of the beer, a yellow 4yr sharp cheddar and a thick-cut bacon and chopped it a little big.

    It was outstanding. Leftovers were served as a dip with tortilla chips.

  8. AJ says:

    I LOVE the idea of using the leftovers as a dip, Jim! What a great thought!

  9. Henry -Thank you!

    Sharon – I will try and get my hands on that recipe and make it in a future installment.

    Janna – You go girl! :)

    Dana – Congrats! You are the first and yes, there were 2 hidden Mickeys! More to come.

    Cody – Awesome, Enjoy!

    Jim – That is a geat idea.

  10. melissa sue says:

    LOVE the hidden mickeys in this post. They cracked me up!!

    I am in pre-wedding diet mode, but as soon as I can spare the calories, I am SO making this!!

  11. Melissa, Congratulations … When is the Big Day?
    Oh, you didn’t hear… Everything on the Disney Food Blog is calorie free LOL

  12. Mark says:

    I featured this a few weeks ago, and I’m glad you guys did as well! This soup is great anytime and a must have when at Epcot.. Great job with the pics Chef!

  13. betsey says:

    thank you so much. does this soup freeze well? and are we going to get to see the chocolate peanut butter cupcake from starring rolls? i have been trying to find a recipe for those. it has since become a quest or obsession (hey these are good had disneyland resort has nothing like them so i need a way to tide us over until we go back to wdw next year..help me pand-wan you are our only hope out here in cali :0) lol btw the board walk crumb cakes came out great thanks for that one too

  14. betsey,
    I am so happy to hear you tried the Boardwalk Chocolate Chip Crumbcakes! You got me hungry!
    I will put the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes on my radar and if I can get the recipe, will get it in a future spot or send it to you at the very least. email me ur email :) ChefBigFatPanda@Gmail.com

  15. Betsey,
    I almost forgot. I’ve never freezed the soup but I would think it would freeze well. Leave room for expansion in an airtight container. If you see any separation upon thawing, give it a good mix or blend.

  16. I learn so much stuff just by reading the rest of this Blog. I am seriously proud to be associated with this amazing resource. I clicked a link above regarding being able to order this soup “to go” without a reservation.

    http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2009/07/23/le-cellier-cheddar-cheese-soupto-go

    Now I am wondering if I can go to Artists Point at the Wilderness Lodge and get some Smokey Mushroom soup “to go”, and maybe (wait for it) :) some macaroni and cheese. I would drive the 30 min to pick up dinner. I’m going to try it next week.

  17. Mike says:

    I love this soup. I’m planning on making it for a pot-luck this weekend. Can you tell me how many portions this makes? I’m cooking for about 12-18 people and I’m pretty sure this recipe won’t serve that many, and need to know how many times I should double it to get a good amount.

  18. robin says:

    thank you, thank you, thank you, chef BigFatPanda, for this amazing post! i am LOVING your detailed instructions & explanations. how much does this pot of soup serve?

  19. Thank you Mike & Robin … My family is not known for small portions :) , so keeping that in mind, I would definitely be able to serve 8 hearty portions with the recipe as is. Some may get 10 but let’s say 8 to play it safe. So Mike, I think ur safe to double it.
    The soup is heavy and not like Chicken Noodle where you can eat a whole bowl. Smaller bowls work best with some dipping vehicle (bread, cracker etc.)

  20. Angey says:

    This soup freezes amazingly well! I always make a large batch and save some for a rainy day.
    As far as the bacon, I cook it and then throw it in a food processor. It works great every time.

  21. Rich Miller says:

    Based on the comments from others, this seems like something I could manage. It would be great to make a batch and freeze some so that I don’t end up eating the whole pot. Thanks for such an easy to follow recipe. Also, LOVE the pictures with Mickey. Very cool. This is also a perfect way for me to experience a bit of Disney without the expense of a flight.

  22. JoAnn says:

    I’ll be making my ADRs tomorrow for my trip in November. I’m hoping to get a reservation at LeCellier. I definitely want to try the soup.

    I was so intent on reading the recipe I forgot about the Hidden Mickeys and had to go back to find them.

  23. Jenn says:

    I FINALLY made this tonight. And about halfway through the recipe I noticed the “Frozen bacon” yeah that was a huge pain in the butt. Took longer to cut that than all of the vegetables combined.. and … amazing.

  24. Sheri says:

    We just got home from Food & Wine and this is one of the family favorites. Can’t wait to surprise them with this one night. Any chance on you creating a recipe for the Griddled Greek Cheese with Honey & Pistachios that was new this year?

  25. AJ says:

    Sheri — The recipe for that item is in the Food and Wine cookbook this year! I can ask Chef to make that as one of his upcoming DIY Disney dishes!

  26. Hanna Hope says:

    First off, thanks so much for the recipe! I am a former cast member going through Disney food withdrawal so when I found your recipe I had to make it RIGHT AWAY. The flavor turned out perfectly, but the texture was all wrong. It wasn’t thick at all. Any thoughts or suggestions???

  27. Hanna – This is one of the recipes I have made very often and I have never had a consistency problem. Are you sure you followed step 3 correctly? This is the creation of the Roux. Some issues I could think of are *only using lean bacon* as some of the fat is needed to create the roux or *not using enough flour or an outdated or different type of flour*. Do you live in a high altitude or anything? I am trying to think of reasons. I am sure if you made it again and increased the flour to perhaps 4 or 5 tablespoons, it would be thicker – You likely could have added a little cornstarch at the end as well to get it to a consistency you would like. I am glad the flavor was there but it should be cheesey – like me jokes! LOL

  28. Marcie says:

    I just had the same problem as Hanna; the flavors were perfect but the soup was watery and not thick. I let it simmer for 15min per the recipe…should I have let it simmer longer until a certain consistency appeared? Thanks for your help. I love this soup!

  29. rona says:

    How long do I let it simmer?

  30. Rebecca says:

    Does anyone know what the cookbook is called? The boyfriend had it buy lost it so I want to replace the cookbook for him.

  31. AJ says:

    Rebecca — Unfortunately, they don’t sell the cookbooks after the festival is over. :-(

  32. Lily says:

    Hi! I’m totally psyched about making this recipe for my family, but I was just curious as to how many servings it makes, approximately? Thank you! :-)

  33. KD says:

    Hmmm, I don’t know what I did wrong but the soup, while very tasty, did come out very thin. And yes, I followed the recipe to the letter. Anyone else have that problem? Is there a way to tighten up the soup without ruining it?

  34. Linda P says:

    I have made this soup a few times. It does freeze well. For a spicier version, cut about 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese and add 1/2 cup of pepper jack. Bam!!

  35. Vanessa says:

    We made this once before and I came back for a refresher course! It was amazing and your tips made it way less intimidating. Thanks for the amazing recipe!!!

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